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Ready for Lift-Off: The Persian Cat on the Verge of Cosmic Fame

Shall I feel honoured that finally the Iranian authorities recognised my effort to promote the Persian Cat as a mayor player in science and research ?  Or shall I tell them what other science nations have experienced a long time ago ? 

Here is the recent news (source: The Guardian) about another effort of the Tehran regime to conquer space:

"Iran says it is considering sending a persian cat into space as the next animal astronaut after claiming it launched a monkey earlier this year. The effort is part of Iranian ambitions to send a human into space by 2018, but questions have been raised about the reported successes of the country's animal missions. Monday's report by the official IRNA news agency quotes the space official Mohammad Ebrahimi as saying the next animal could be the distinctive persian cat, a long-haired, flat-faced breed named after Iran's former name of Persia. No other details were given. In February, Iran insisted it successfully sent a monkey outside Earth's atmosphere and returned it safely. But photos raised international questions about whether the same animal was shown in pre- and post-launch images."

I assume it was more the name of the species (Persian Cat) which prompted the Iranian authorities to make a fixed booking for it in the next rocket to be launched, rather than any objective scientific arguments.  If everything will go well, they might state that "... a Persian was succesfully brought into orbit and back". If the mission fails, they will say "... a cat was lost during another test flight.".
The probability getting valuable data from a cat mission is small, anyhow. Whereas dogs were found by the Russians in the later 50s and early 60s to be extremely cooperative cosmonauts and provided a wealth of useful data, cats are a different story.  Every cat owner knows how delicate these cosy creatures are, how ladylike they behave, how easy it is to offend them and how resentful cats are.
If anybody remembers the pictures of how happy and gratefully "Bjelka and Strjelka", the two famous Russian space dogs left the Sputnik-5 landing capsule after returning from one day in space, and the first thing they did was running to their owner to lick his feets and face, full of gratitude for this big adventure, the return of a Persian Cat from space will end in a big disappointment:
1)  When the Iranian return capsule opens, the Persian Cat will appear very sleepy and arch its back.
2)  When the scientists try to help her out, she will spit and scratch.
3)  After leaving the capsule, she will walk away without looking back.
4) When she meets other cats, she will pretend that the space is full of mice, and she only came back because all the tomcats around are longing for her.


  1. Hi Michael, LOL, really, but you may have missed the main point here: Iran is still an islamic, clerical state. And they are so much occupied with the Khoran and all the laws in it, that sending a dog into space (i.e. closer to Allah than any good moslem has ever been) would be considered a major offence (arabic: Moharebeh, or “enmity against God”. And the person who launched the space-ship with a dog on board would immediately face Sharia.

    Take Care, in case you really want to visit Iran, better leave your dog at home

  2. Dearest Ghazal, but don't you think that now, with the new more liberal leadership in Tehran they could not make some special arrangement for a dog ? Like putting a letter inside the spaceship which writes.
    Dear ALLAH (Peace be upon you), please accept this little dog as a brave messenger from your most devote servants on earth. We understand that dogs are not the most favorite of all your creatures, but be aware that it will make an eminent contribution to the glory of the Islamic Republic and its scientific achivements.