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Ahmadinejad prepared to be Iran's first astronaut

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he is willing to 'sacrifice' himself and be sent into space via Iran's fledgling manned space flight effort.

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, listens to an unidentified pilot during a ceremony to unveil Iran's newest fighter jet, Qaher-313, or Dominant-313,which officials claim can evade radar, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday.

Hossein Zohrevand, Fars News Agency / AP

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President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday that he's ready to take the risk of being the first Iranian astronaut sent into space as part of Iran's goal of a manned space flight.

"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.

Space tourist Anousheh Ansari was the first Iranian to make a journey into space aboard a Soyuz TMA-9 capsule from Baikonur, Kazakhastan, in September 2006. The 40-year-old telecommunications entrepreneur paid a reported $20 million for a space station visit. Her journey became an inspiration to women in male-dominated Iran.

 
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