Iran Government’s Strange Photos of the Monkey It Sent to Space


Earlier this week, Iran generated quite a bit of media attention after claiming that it had successfully sent a monkey to space and safely brought it back down to Earth. The tiny monkey was reportedly sent into sub-orbital space 75 miles above ground.

To prove its accomplishment, Iran distributed the above photograph of the monkey strapped into its little spaceship chair.

It’s a strange choice for an image that marks a landmark development in a country’s space program: the white balance is off, and the monkey doesn’t look too enthusiastic about the whole thing.

Aside from generating controversy for appearing inhumane, the state media’s official photographs are also drumming up a different kind of murmuring: various media outlets are suggesting that something is amiss.

Iran’s photos of the monkey captured before and after launch appear to show two different monkeys…


You can find a gallery of the official photographs here.

  • Evan Skuthorpe


  • Chris Martin

    There is obviously only one explanation for this. The monkey slipped through a black hole sending him into the future for 40 years, where he aged and acquired grey hair. Finally he found his way back to this current time and space.

  • Jason Kirby

    why is Iran concerned about going to space when their economy is in total disarray?

  • Hugo Cuellar Rodriguez

    Lol hashtags?

  • Banan Tarr

    Is there some particular reason they can’t simply use some sensors, i.e. accelerometers, thermos, baros, etc…. instead of killing a monkey?

  • Steve

    Are you suggesting that Iran lied? Perish the thought!

  • Chris Popely

    Let us not forget the U.S. were the first to do it before we all get on the Middle Eastern bashing bandwagon…

  • DafOwen

    Diversion, public moral etc ?

  • John Milleker

    Is that hot glue holding the 8-digit LED display in place?

  • Richard Howman

    It’s not interested in going in to space, it just wants to test it’s ability to deliver ballistic missles across continents!

  • Joey Duncan

    Your statement makes no sense. First, what does “first to do it” have to do with people being racist, are you attempting to add fuel for their fire? Secondly, USSR was the FIRST to put an animal in to orbit, with Sputnik 2

  • Neville Black

    Congratulations Iran on achieveing 1948.

  • etothej

    PETApixel :P

  • Mike

    One could ask the same thing about the USA. Why have a robot driving around Mars when the country has crippling debt and a crap economy?

  • Lee

    so now it is proven: when you send monkey into space, birthmark disappeared.

  • Jacob Evans

    If they got the money to provide high class weapons and missile systems why would they need to test something like sending someone to space and back. They aren’t going to be sending anyone to the moon. :/

  • Alan Dove

    The package design should certainly reduce the problem of having your monkey break during shipping, but I can’t help thinking it makes him look like Nick Nolte’s mug shot.

  • Ninjas rule

    Poor monkey it has that “help me” look on its face

  • kerry pittenger

    Where’s his diaper?….I’m quite sure that poor thing sh*t himself,…..”This won’t hurt a bit,….It’ll be fun!”

  • Richard Horsfield

    The monkeys on the link supplied above all look the same to me? Not sure where that other picture came from?

  • derekdj

    I think the strangest thing out of this whole story isn’t the fact that Iran might have lied about launching a sub-orbital rocket, but the fact that nobody in the Western world, with all of it’s satellites, early warning systems, high tech surveillance imaging can confirm there was a launch or return flight.

  • AntonyShepherd

    I think it’s Iran’s way of cocking a snook at the US. “Hey, Americans, we put a monkey into space. That’s more than you can do!”
    But seriously, if they have a rocket that can reach the US, then they can play the MAD game to avoid being attacked.

  • Leonardo Abreu

    Poor animal

  • muddyclouds

    Lesson for the space program – Only hire individuals that has an identical twin, in case of replacement needs.

    Lesson for those wanting to be astronauts – If asked if you have an identical twin, look for another job.

  • Shawn

    Uh Oh. Next thing you know, they’ll be launching monkeys at Israel.

  • Chris Popely

    I was referring to putting monkeys into space, not animals.

    You and I both know that it takes very little for people to get upset about what’s going on in and around the Middle East at the moment. In no way was I adding fuel to anyone’s fire.

  • hello world…..

    they learned from the USA and RUSSIA…. they should use politicians… or apple user.

  • 234434

    why is the USA???
    the usa has more debt than iran….

  • normsanff

    yes they should use apple users……

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    Yes, something IS a miss! we’re still treating animals like their disposable equipment. It troubles me that people are more interested in that it may or may not be two different monkey’s than in the fact that we’re still practising these horrific, archaic experiments – because that’s what they are, experiments. The fact that one of the dead monkeys from the United States 1950’s experiments has been stuffed and put in a museum simply baffles me and It’s mind blowing that people still think it’s okay to do this sort of thing.

  • Todd Gardiner

    That program was mostly paid for before the crap economy…

    Like asking why the foreclosed home owner is driving a BMW. He bought it when he could afford it.

  • Kevin

    “sent a monkey into orbit”
    “reportedly sent into sub-orbital space”

    Am I the only one who sees a glaring inconsistency here? The actual claim was sub-orbital space, 120km from the surface.

  • Michael Zhang

    We’ve changed that first instance of “orbit” to “space.” Thanks.

  • Burnin Biomass

    Because you cannot build an ICBM without getting into space?

  • Burnin Biomass

    But do they have a license for their minkey?

  • ka6751

    But he can sell it… I’m not disagreeing with you but that’s a bad example my friend.

  • Duke Shin

    My question is, how did IKEA monkey get to Iran?

  • Rob S

    hate to break it to you but that poor monkey died on impact.

  • Just me

    The strapped in monkey sure looks sad. Also these are 2 different monkeys – where is the sad little monkey?

  • Jake

    Real estate options?

  • gunman

    Aren’t humans already in space? There’s even space tourists out there… What is this monkey business all about?

  • Sterling

    Sure he can… likely for less than he owes.

  • Sterling

    Poor bastard!

  • spongebob nopants

    That means there wasn’t a launch or return flight.

  • Jackson Cheese

    The cost to send a rover to Mars is pocket change in the grand scheme of the budget, especially compared to the cost of running two wars at the same time.

    And science is always a great investment too.

  • Jackson Cheese

    This is false. The US does not have nearly as much of debt problem as the media would like you to believe.

  • Bua

    LOL This is hilarious. Congrats Iran… But seriously though, stop monkeying around.

  • jsthejus

    why donĀ“t they use apple users instead of monkeys?
    are apple users not intelligent enough?

  • jsthejus

    genius.. use your brain for a second before you write… just a second.

  • Mike Lewinski

    I tried posting a link to the excellent YouTube video “Moon Hoax Not” by sgcollins that explains how NASA did have the technology to go to the moon, but didn’t have the technology to fake going to the moon on video. My comment was detained for moderation. I’m not sure if that violates petapixel’s commenting policy, or if the spam queue isn’t being checked.