February 5, 2013
Iranian President Says He Wants To Be Country’s First Astronaut
After reports emerged of Iran obviously trying to cover-up the fact the monkey it launched into space recently did not make it safely back from its trip to space, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is now saying he wishes to be the country's first astronaut.
The monkey launch has been heralded as a farce by media outlets, after Iran showed pictures of two separate monkeys, both before and after the alleged launch, but claiming it to be the same monkey.
The original monkey featured a mole on its eye, which was first seen in pictures released by Iran of the animal strapped inside a seat with foam padding prior to launch. After the "launch" was said to be "successful" a press conference was held, and pictures released of the monkey during this conference included a monkey, without the mole, and darker fur.
Now, with speculation of Iran trying to either cover-up a failed launch, or no launch at all, the president has raised a few more eyebrows by announcing he'd like to be offered up to Iran's space program as the first astronaut.
"I'm ready to be the first Iranian to sacrifice myself for our country's scientists," the official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying in an address to space scientists in Tehran.
It could be said Ahmadinejad is very confident in his space agency's ability to make it seem as though it launched a vehicle successfully into space. If proven to actually be true, then Ahmadinejad would become the first president to go to space, however, he wouldn't be the first Iranian to make the trip.
Space tourist Anousheh Ansari became the first Iranian to go to space when he boarded a Soyuz TMA-9 capsule from Baikonur, Kazakhstan in September 2006. The difference between this journey and the one President Ahmadinejad will allegedly be making, is pictures and videos to prove it.
Although his words are bold, the agency said it is not completely confident yet in sending their president to space. First, they want to launch a bigger rocket carrying a larger animal for assurance it will work.
After news broke about the Iranian president saying he wanted to take the fictitious journey towards space, John McCain had this tweet to follow-up with: "So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space — wasn´t he just there last week?"
However, this Tweet became a bit of a controversy, with users claiming the comments made by McCain were racist. He later tweeted: "lighten up folks, can't everyone take a joke."
Although the Iranian president's declaration is bold, it still doesn't mean he plans to follow through with it, assuming the technology was actually able to do so. The president has been known to make provocative public statements, and not follow through with his word.