The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Feb 04, 2013
 

Ahmadinejad says ready to be Iran's first spaceman

 
 

TEHRAN (AFP) - 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 the Iran's space programme, which has shrunk because of international economic sanctions over Tehran's controversial nuclear drive, ISNA reported.