Ahmadinejad says ready to be Iran's first spaceman

By AFP
Published: February 4, 2013

Ahmadinejad unveiled on Monday two small satellites, named 'Nahid' and 'Zohreh'. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

TEHRAN: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday he is ready “to be the first man in space” under Iran’s ambitious programme which aims to send a human being into orbit by 2020.

“Our youth are determined to send a man into space within the next four, five years and I’m sure that will happen,” he said during a ceremony in Tehran where two new Iranian-made satellites were unveiled, according to ISNA news agency.

“I’m ready to be the first Iranian to be sacrificed by the scientists of my country and go into space, even though I know there are a lot of candidates,” Ahmadinejad quipped.

He added to the buoyant atmosphere, saying he was willing to “auction (himself) and donate” the money to Iran’s space programme, which has shrunk because of international economic sanctions over Tehran’s controversial nuclear drive, ISNA reported.

Iran, which last week announced it had successfully sent a small monkey into space, has said it wants to send a man into orbit by 2020.

Ahmadinejad unveiled on Monday two small satellites, named “Nahid” and “Zohreh” (“Venus” in Farsi and Arabic, respectively).

Nahid, an observation satellite equipped with solar panels, is intended to orbit at an altitude of between 250 and 370 kilometres (155 to 230 miles). Iran has put three other small satellites into the same orbit since 2009.

Zohreh is a geostationary communications satellite that will be placed at an altitude of 36,000 kilometres (22,370 miles), something Iran has never tried before.

No launch date was given.

Iran’s space programme deeply unsettles Western nations, which fear it could be used to develop ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads they suspect are being developed in secret, despite denials from Tehran.

The technology used in space rockets can also be used in ballistic missiles. The Security Council has imposed an almost total embargo on the export of nuclear and space technology to Iran since 2007.

Tehran denies its space programme has any link with its alleged nuclear ambitions.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Ali
    Feb 4, 2013 - 8:31PM

    That’s what I call a Leader.

    Recommend

  • Aijaz Haider
    Feb 4, 2013 - 8:45PM

    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad certainly has guts and leadership qualities.

    Recommend

  • Sana
    Feb 4, 2013 - 9:08PM

    U go mate!!

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  • Avishek
    Feb 4, 2013 - 9:09PM

    Bravo Iran!

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  • DLX Area 1
    Feb 4, 2013 - 10:15PM

    To send a man into space and return him back to Earth safely, your rocket needs to be able to carry a descent module which would weigh at least 2500 kg. And this is the least for a one-man spaceflight. With additional safety measures, the module would weigh about 4000 to 5000 kg. At present the Iranian rockets can loft only 60 kg into low earth orbit. Can Iranians build a rocket that can carry 5000 kg into space without mastering cryogenic engine technology (it took about 30 years for China to build cryogenic engines. India is still facing trouble building one) under international sanctions just in 10 years? I seriously doubt that. It’s one thing send a monkey into space and another to send a man. However, I wish them good luck.

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  • Falcon
    Feb 4, 2013 - 10:43PM

    That’s impressive

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  • Parvez
    Feb 4, 2013 - 10:59PM

    Isn’t he already there ?

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  • Feb 4, 2013 - 11:32PM

    Entire world is with your sir. Please go to space and leave us alone, take zaid hamid with you as well.

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  • Syed
    Feb 4, 2013 - 11:37PM

    Iran is just soooo far ahead of Pakistan as far as technology is concerned. Yes we have the bomb but thats about it.Recommend

  • Faisal
    Feb 5, 2013 - 12:48AM

    All the best man.

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  • Manny
    Feb 5, 2013 - 7:19AM

    The probability of this happening is ZERO, the way people treat this man is just pathetic. Those who support him have no idea what nonsense his regime has put Iran through. Their economy is in tatters just because they want the “BOMB”. The “BOMB” is completely irrelevant in today’s world. As far as this news is concerned, its is nothing but propaganda. They even unveiled a so called “stealth” fighter which was nothing more than a mock up made out of cardboard and glue.

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  • afroze
    Feb 5, 2013 - 12:47PM

    you are an ideal for every visionary human Mr. President .

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  • DarKnight
    Feb 5, 2013 - 3:34PM

    Hope you leave as Ahmadinejad and return as the same………

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  • Stranger
    Feb 5, 2013 - 6:11PM

    Please go sir and remain there itself. dont come back.

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  • Ali Zaid
    Feb 6, 2013 - 9:56AM

    Ahmedinejad and Vladamir Putin are two the best country leaders of current times!

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