Iran plans to send a manned mission into orbit within the next 10 years, the CBC reports. The news comes on the heels of a recent, and disputed, rocket launch the Iranians claim put a satellite, its first, into space. The country says its space presence would monitor weather and improve communications, but the international community is wary of military applications.
An Iranian has already been to space, a tourist aboard a Russian flight to the International Space Station. While Iran’s aim to launch its own satellites is adventurous, a manned mission would place the country in the even more rarefied company of the US, Russia, and China. Iran says it hopes to provide such opportunities to fellow Muslim states through its program.