July 24, 2010

Iran Getting Ready For First Manned Shuttle Mission

Iran's English-language Press TV reported that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday that Iran would send its first manned shuttle into space by 2019.

Iran tested its domestically made satellite-carrying rocket Kavoshgar-3 in February and Ahmadinejad said Tehran hoped to send astronauts into space soon.

"In response to the enemy's resolutions, it was decided that the project be pushed forward by five years," Ahmadinejad said on Friday, referring to Iran's shuttle program.

Western countries suspect Iran is building nuclear bombs and are concerned that the long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into orbit can also be used to launch warheads.

Iran has always insisted its nuclear program is for generating electricity.

The U.N. Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions of Iran in June over its nuclear program.

Tehran said Kavoshgar-3 will transmit electronic data and live footage back to earth.

Iran put a domestically made satellite into orbit for the first time in 2009.

Image Courtesy Jos© Cruz (Wikipedia)