Ahmadinejad says ready to be Iran’s first spaceman

Updated 04 February 2013
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Ahmadinejad says ready to be Iran’s first spaceman

TEHRAN: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday he is ready “to be the first man in space” under Iran’s ambitious program which aims to send a human being into orbit by 2020.
“Our youth are determined to send a man into space within the next four, five years and I’m sure that will happen,” he said during a ceremony in Tehran where two new Iranian-made satellites were unveiled, according to ISNA news agency.
“I’m ready to be the first Iranian to be sacrificed by the scientists of my country and go into space, even though I know there are a lot of candidates,” Ahmadinejad quipped.
He added to the buoyant atmosphere, saying he was willing to “auction (himself) and donate” the money to the Iran’s space program, which has shrunk because of international economic sanctions over Tehran’s controversial nuclear drive, ISNA reported.
Iran, which last week announced it had successfully sent a small monkey into space, has said it wants to send a man into orbit by 2020.
Ahmadinejad unveiled on Monday two small satellites, named “Nahid” and “Zohreh” (“Venus” in Farsi and Arabic, respectively).
Nahid, an observation satellite equipped with solar panels, is intended to orbit at an altitude of between 250 and 370 kilometers (155 to 230 miles). Iran has put three other small satellites into the same orbit since 2009.
Zohreh is a geostationary communications satellite that will be placed at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers (22,370 miles), something Iran has never tried before.
No launch date was given.
Iran’s space program deeply unsettles Western nations, which fear it could be used to develop ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads they suspect are being developed in secret, despite denials from Tehran.
The technology used in space rockets can also be used in ballistic missiles. The Security Council has imposed an almost total embargo on the export of nuclear and space technology to Iran since 2007.
Tehran denies its space program has any link with its alleged nuclear ambitions.
fpn/lma/jad/bpz


Colombian pop star loses $785,000 in valuables at World Cup

Updated 21 June 2018
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Colombian pop star loses $785,000 in valuables at World Cup

MOSCOW: Colombian pop singer Maluma was robbed of luxury items worth over 50 million roubles ($785,000) from his hotel room near Moscow’s Red Square, Russian media reported on Tuesday, citing police sources.
An intruder stole valuables including a Louis Vuitton bag, 11 luxury watches, various items of Cartier jewelry and 10 glasses studded with diamonds and pearls, two police sources told news portal RBC.
Maluma, who is one of the biggest names in Latin music, is in Russia to watch the soccer World Cup.
Moscow police opened an investigation into suspected theft on Tuesday, both RBC and Interfax said, quoting a source as saying he had been staying at the Four Seasons Hotel near the Kremlin.
A spokeswoman for the hotel gave no details of the incident but told Reuters that an investigation was underway. “We treat the question of security for our guests and their belongings very seriously and immediately informed the police,” she said in an email.
Just after midday Moscow time, Maluma wrote on social media that he was traveling to the city of Saransk where Colombia was due to play Japan, posting a picture of himself wearing a Colombian soccer jersey in front of a plane.
“En route to SARANSK. Today we finally accompany our team COLOMBIA!!” Maluma, who is from the city of Medellin, wrote on social media.
Colombia lost 1-2.