Questions raised over differences in photos of Iranian space monkey

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 February, 2013, 8:49am


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Iran's announcement that it had successfully sent a monkey into space stirred questions on the internet, with people pointing out differences between official images of the primate before the take-off and after landing.

On January 28, official Iranian media published pictures of a monkey named Pishgam (Pioneer) prior to the launch. It had light grey fur and a red mole above its right eye.

But later, the ISNA news agency released photos taken during the presentation of the primate to the press after its landing, which showed a darker fur and no mole.

These differences have been pointed out by Western media, which have questioned the success of the monkey space mission. A previous attempt to send a primate into space failed in 2011.

On Facebook, a comment below the photos of the primate reads: the monkey "went into space and met a doctor who removed its mole".

Two websites close to the regime have said without citing sources that the monkey images available to the media before the launch were "archive" photos of the doomed 2011 launch.

Instead, the monkey presented to the press after the space flight was the one that successfully completed the mission.