Ahmadinejad: Send Me to Outer Space Now that a monkey's done it, he wants to be next By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff Posted Feb 4, 2013 7:54 AM CST 39 comments Comments Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speeches at the parliament in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) (Newser) – Iran's space-bound monkey may have died during flight, but that hasn't spooked Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who today declared that he would very much like to be the first person Iran launches into orbit. But his statement, as reported by state media via the AP, indicates he's not totally convinced such an event would go smoothly: "I'm ready to be the first Iranian to sacrifice myself for our country's scientists," he said. Reuters notes that Ahmadinejad is a fan of making bold proclamations, and reports that it's "unclear whether the suggestion was a serious one." He wouldn't be the first Iranian in space, however. Space tourist Anousheh Ansari paid a reported $20 million to journey there aboard a Soyuz TMA-9 capsule, launched out of Kazakhastan, in September 2006.