After Iranian-controlled news agencies reported on Monday that the government had successfully launched a monkey into space and recovered it, concerns rose that the primate may not have survived its flight. Skeptics pointed to before and after photos of the rhesus monkey that appeared to show two different animals, but Mohammad Ebrahimi, a senior official from Iran's space program, tells The Associated Press that the monkey did successfully visit — and return from — space. He admitted that the two photos depict different monkeys, but he explained that some news agencies had confused a picture of a monkey with a mole above its right eye as the animal sent to space. That monkey is said to be one of three to five candidates that were prepped for the launch, but the darker-haired monkey (named Pishgam) depicted in a low-resolution photo is indeed the one that went to space. Ebrahimi continued on to say "with certainty that the monkey is in good health and the space flight didn't have any physical effect," though he apparently did not produce either of the monkeys to The Associated Press in order to prove that they were both alive.
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