Iranian Space Agency Confirms No Animals Used in Capsule Launch; PETA Pledges to Keep Watch


For Immediate Release:
December 19, 2023

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Tehran, Iran – Following PETA’s outreach to the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) urging it to cancel the use of animals in its space program, the ISA just confirmed in a letter to PETA that “no real animals were used” during its space capsule launch on December 6 and that it instead opted for humane “simulation kits and sensors … to gather the necessary data.” PETA is applauding this step forward—but vows to keep tabs on the agency until it bans the use of animals completely.

A monkey previously launched into space by the ISA. Credit: PETA

“The ISA made the right call to spare vulnerable animals a confusing, terrifying, and potentially deadly trip into space,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA is cheering on this compassionate move and calling on the ISA to commit to using only modern, animal-free technology to study the final frontier going forward.”

The ISA has a well-documented history of exploiting animals in space-exploration efforts, including launching into orbit a terrified monkey who was crudely strapped into a restraint device in 2013. The agency has also used monkeys, rodents, turtles, and worms in previous space missions. Following PETA campaigns, NASA and the European Space Agency ended space experiments on monkeys. The agencies have acknowledged that results from these experiments weren’t relevant to human astronauts.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.


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