Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared earlier today that he's ready to launch into space, helping Iran's fledgling space program by risking his own life as he nears the end of his final term as president.
"I am ready to be the first human to be sent to space by Iranian scientists," Ahmadinejad told a group of those scientists in Tehran. The state-run Mehr news agency reported the news this morning. "Sending living things into space is the result of Iranian efforts and the dedication of thousands of Iranian scientists," he reportedly continued.
The announcement came at an event marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, and a few days after Iran claimed to have successfully sent a monkey into space. That achievement was met with skepticism from many (including us), especially after Israeli nonprofit Space Israel pointed out that the supposed space monkey may have been a hoax. Pre-launch pictures looked different from the tuxedoed primate paraded before camera crews, they said.
The Guardian notes that within a few moments of Ahmadinejad's announcement, a Facebook group sprung up called "In Support of Sending Ahmadinejad Into Space." It's in Persian, but you can like it here. One commenter already said "we'll accompany him to the platform, we will even pay for the shuttle's fuel costs."
Ahmadinejad tries to promote Iran's prominence in future technologies, appearing on stage with Iran's weird dancing humanoid robot and bragging about the RQ-170 stealth drone it supposedly shot down. But these displays are often utterly ridiculous--like, for instance, the Iranian Flying Saucer of 2011.
Still, this is a pretty bold raising of the stakes. In the space monkey aftermath, Space Israel and other international observers have said they believe the monkey either never launched at all, or died in space. So this is a big risk for Iran's president.
But Ahmadinejad's second and final term ends in June, and as the Guardian further notes, he's fallen out of favor with both parliament and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. So maybe he figures he's got nothing to lose. When there are pictures of Ahmadinejad wearing a space suit, we will definitely share them.
I support his efforts to die in space.
In an unrelated note, they didn't shoot down the drone. They spoofed the GPS signal into landing in Iran rather than on the US base. Huge difference, popsci.
verily, iran should send real monkeys into space - like amahdenijad!
They better make sure that all birthmarks and moles are well documented to make sure they get the correct monkey when he goes...
It's of course easy to make fun of Iran's many technological achievments, but the fact remains that it's one of the most advanced and richest nations in the middle east. Before the Cultural Revolution it was well on its tracks to become one of the most advanced nations in the world.
Are you sure that wasn't Amahdenijad that already went up? They sure look the same!
I bet the Defense Department would gladly help them with some of the funding needed to get Ahmadinejad into space, provided he actually go. It would likely be cheaper than an attempted assassination.
Iran has technological achievements? Ah, you mean the research they stole from other countries? The middle east would be much more advanced if it weren't for the 1000 years of religious b.s. that plagued their country. Choosing religion over mathematics and science really screwed them up.
simski is correct, Cookies453, and you are confused about Iranian history. Iran's cultural roots and history is predominantly Persian, not Arab. Iranians are friendly, intelligent, modern and well-educated people who happen to be led by a band of repressive thugs.
Shah Pahlavi promoted a secular, modern, and Western-friendly society, but he was also an oppressive dictator. The student-led revolution to overthrow him in 1979, seeking to build a representative, democratically-elected government was usurped by the retrograde Islamists led by Ayatollah Khomeini. Like most revolutions in history it ended badly with one dictator being replaced by a different dictator. Reminds me of The Who's great commentary on revolutions in "Won't Get Fooled Again." The lyrics "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" are a depressingly accurate assessment of what we're witnessing in Egypt, Libya, and probably Syria. The new regime is as bad as, or worse than, the one it replaced.
Let's hope this is really the case.
" Iranians are friendly, intelligent, modern and well-educated people who happen to be led by a band of repressive thugs"
The rest of the world would love to see this in action. All we see now is the threat of nuclear war.
"Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared earlier today that he’s ready to launch into space,..."
Typical political sales promotions talk.
I do not believe a word of it.