AP News

Ahmadinejad wants to be Iran's first astronaut


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he's ready to be the first Iranian astronaut sent into space as part of Iran's goal of manned space flight.

Ahmadinejad says he's willing to sacrifice his life for Iran's ambitious space program.

His comments were reported on Monday by the official IRNA news agency.

Iran sent a monkey into space last Monday, describing the launch a successful step toward Tehran's plan to send an astronaut into space within the next five to six years.

The monkey named "Pishgam," or "Pioneer" in Farsi, reportedly traveled 120 kilometers (72 miles) into space and then safely returned to Earth.

In 2010, Iran said it launched an Explorer rocket into space carrying a mouse, a turtle and worms.


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