TEHRAN, Iran (February 2, 2013)—One of two official photos of Iran’s famed simian space traveler depicts the wrong monkey, but a top Iranian space official says the primate really was launched into orbit and returned to earth safely.
Mohammad Ebrahimi told the The Associated Press the monkey's name is Pishgam, or Pioneer in Farsi.
The Iranian media originally said that the "Pishgam" was the rocket, which reportedly sent the monkey into space Monday and returned him to earth after 20 minutes.
Ebrahimi said Saturday that the Iranian media released photos of two different monkeys.
One was an archive photo of a backup monkey.
Iran says it is working toward manned space flight.
The U.S. and its allies worry that the technology could also be used to develop long-range missiles.
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