The monkey pictured in the capsule earlier on this month during a test flight
TEHRAN – Iran – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has unveiled a space capsule which will carry him into space, along with four new prototypes of home-built satellites the country hopes to launch before March 2012.
“The Kavoshgar-5 rocket will be launched in August with a capsule carrying Ahmadinejad to an altitude of 120 kilometres,” Hamid Bisho’ur, head of Iran’s Space Organisation told Iran state television.
“We will send the monkey into space but when the capsule comes down, we don’t know where it will land? Oh well, it’s no big loss,” Mr Bisho’ur added.
Iran, which first put a satellite into orbit in 2009, has outlined an ambitious space programme amid Western concerns.
“It’s pretty obvious that they’re trying to develop ballistic missiles for their nuclear program. By sending these poor monkeys into space, they’re not fooling anyone,” Donald Fenster, an International Security analyst in Washington told CNN.
Mr Ahmadinejad is currently preparing for lift off with special training sessions. The monkey will have plenty of supplies during the trip up in the capsule, including a full consignment of bananas and peanuts.