Iran Claims Monkey shot into Space:
Western experts said the brief experiment appeared to have few if any immediate military implications, as it might have if Iran had launched a much larger vehicle that could fly high and fast enough to put a major payload into orbit.
“It doesn’t demonstrate any militarily significant technology,” said Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard astronomer who tracks rocket launchings and space activity. “This is a tiny old rocket, and what’s on top is useful only for doing astronaut stuff.”
Rather, he and other experts said, the exercise seemed to represent a small but significant step in Iran’s stated goal of developing rockets big and advanced enough to send human astronauts into space — a goal Tehran has repeated publicly for more than a year.
And then there's this thing:
What are we to make about reports from Israel that Iran's top secret Fordow nuclear facility has been hit by a massive underground explosion that has caused severe damage to the uranium enrichment programme and trapped 240 workers inside?
Claims that the explosion happened last Monday - just as Israelis were digesting the results of the general election – appeared on the Right-wing news website WND last Friday. But three days later the normally garrulous Israelis have gone strangely quiet, while there has likewise been no official comment from Iran.
The Fordow facility is, of course, a vital part of Iran's nuclear weapons programme. Constructed some 300 feet under a mountain, the complex is immune from attack by even the most sophisticated bunker buster bombs. And it is here that Iran is undertaking some of its most sensitive nuclear research, where an estimated 2,700 centrifuges are enriching uranium to 20 percent – just short of the level required to build a nuclear warhead.The conclusion one might tend to take away is that Iran has the missile capability to deliver an explosive payload of fissile material if it so chose, were one to piece together these two stories. On the whole, I feel badly for the monkey, because I really don't think there's any way to prepare animals for this kind of service (I hate hate hate the Soviet Union over their use of dogs for space missions--pack animals, who emotionally would not be suited to solo space travel) and I think that if there were an explosion, it was a) theoretically a test but b) more possible a reactor failure, if it even was a thing.
I hate totalitarianism. It really fucks over one's ability to be informed about other countries' science fails.Or successes. So either Iran is about 1950's nuclear capable, or they are totes killing monkeys and irradiating themselves. Way to be perceived as marginally more capable than North Korea, Iran!