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Iran Announces Manned Space Mission Plans 559

Posted by timothy
from the look-out-below dept.
Lucas123 writes "After Iran's first attempt to launch a satellite on Sunday fell noticeably short of the Earth's atmosphere (though Iran claimed it made it into orbit), government officials stated they intend to put a man into space within 10 years. The long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into space can also be used for launching weapons. Iran says it has no intention to use the technology for launching nuclear warheads."
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Iran Announces Manned Space Mission Plans

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  • by pha7boy (1242512) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @02:58PM (#24693461)
    sure they can put a man into space, the problem has always been to get them back down safely once up there. When will they be able to do that?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by snl2587 (1177409)

      sure they can put a man into space, the problem has always been to get them back down safely once up there.

      No, see, you're assuming Iran wants them back. And that they were given oxygen.

    • by JordanL (886154) <jordan.ledouxNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:08PM (#24693635) Homepage
      I find this progression of events intersting...

      Iran: "Yes, we're enriching nuclear material, but we promise it's not to make warheads."
      Iran: "Yes, we're employing nuclear scientists, but we promise it's not to make warheads."
      Iran: "Yes, we're creating nuclear production facilities, but we promise it's not to make warheads."
      Iran: "Yes, we're developing a missle for our space program, but we promise it's not to deliver warheads."

      Wouldn't it be poetic justice and just a tad ironic if the US spent all this time and money on the "boogey man in Iraq", then like the boy who cried wolf, is criticized and ignored over Iran?
      • That's Not "Ironic" (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Doc Ruby (173196)

        That wouldn't be ironic. That would simply be consequences.

        And no coincidence. The Bush dynasty has been working closely with Iran, arming it, even protecting AQ Khan (the Pakistani whose stolen nuke secrets started the Iranian, N Korean and Libyan nuke projects). That's why the "Iran" in "Iran/Contra" was always the worst part of that traitorous operation out of Oliver North's White House basement office. And why the resumes of the Bush Jr "brain trust" are full of "Iran/Contra" experience.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by BCGlorfindel (256775)


          The Bush dynasty has been working closely with Iran, arming it, even protecting AQ Khan (the Pakistani whose stolen nuke secrets started the Iranian, N Korean and Libyan nuke projects). That's why the "Iran" in "Iran/Contra" was always the worst part of that traitorous operation out of Oliver North's White House basement office. And why the resumes of the Bush Jr "brain trust" are full of "Iran/Contra" experience.

          AQ Khan wasn't selling 'stolen' secrets, he was selling the nuclear plans he used to build Paki

          • by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @06:04PM (#24696507) Homepage

            2. After Musharraf and the Pakistan military co-operated with the US to crack down on Islamic extremism, there is a virtual civil war going on in Pakistan. On one side is the corrupt military that controls most of the country by force. Scarily, those are the 'good' guys. The other side are the religous mullahs. They aren't the moderate muslim leaders we have over here. They are pro-bin laden jihadists who we really wouldn't like to see in control of the nuclear weapons that AQ Khan built for Pakistan. The Best part is they control the region the Taliban and Al-Qaeda retreated so completely the military is scared to go there and it would be suicide for the police to enter it.

            Don't forget when our only real choice for a "good guy", a moderate and a reformer loved by the people, willing to work with the West, and aligned with neither the jihadists nor the military, was assassinated on the campaign trail. What a sad day that was.

            Frankly, that all scares the willies out of me.

            No kidding.

            but ignore the real world, lets worry about the Bush Dynasty and it's heinous attempts at holding a free election in Iraq.

            Hey now. Not that Bush is actually the greatest danger in the world (I mean, he's a short-timer and lame duck at this point), don't sugar coat the massively stupid fuck-up that was the invasion, and it's effects on the situation. I mean aside from strengthening Iran, how fucking insane is it that because our military is so entangled in Iraq that we can't field enough forces in Afghanistan to hold onto bases and cities we'd previously taken from the Taliban? And forget about being able to do what the Pakistanis can't and go into the northern regions where the Taliban retreats to every winter! There's a real battle with real fronts against our real enemy going on, but we can't do the needful because we're stuck in a pointless quagmire!

            The frightening situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan is exactly why invading Iraq was the stupidest fucking thing we could have done.

      • by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:33PM (#24694059) Homepage

        Wouldn't it be poetic justice and just a tad ironic if the US spent all this time and money on the "boogey man in Iraq", then like the boy who cried wolf, is criticized and ignored over Iran?

        I guess. I knew that was going to be the score from the second Bush uttered the words "Axis of Evil". I knew damn well that the actually dangerous countries, Iran and North Korea, would be left more or less alone while the weak and harmless one was going to be invaded. That it was going to be the one invaded exactly because it was harmless. I mean, we wouldn't invade a country if we really thought they could retaliate with nukes. So NK and Iran, the ones with real nuclear programs, get all the diplomacy while Saddam got the U.S. Armed Forces Steamroll.

        If it makes you feel any better, lots of countries are worried about Iran's nuclear program. They agree with the U.S. even if they aren't listening to U.S. "intelligence" any more. Just don't expect them to invade any time soon; even the Bush admin realizes how nasty and terrible that would be.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by JordanL (886154)
          I expect strategic strikes from Israel from the air during the next presidency, which might lead to all out war, but I doubt it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Kagura (843695)
          North Korea cannot be invaded, because Seoul will be devastated by artillery guns located just north of the DMZ, and the death toll will be hundreds of thousands of Seoul citizens in the first single-digit hours of the war. Their major artillery systems near the DMZ are more or less stationary and already known to US forces, but they are mounted on short railroad tracks that can quickly hide them inside mountains while not firing. The only way to win against North Korea is not to play, and wait for it to co
          • by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @05:38PM (#24696067) Homepage

            The only way to win against North Korea is not to play, and wait for it to collapse... but our predictions of "collapse within this decade" are repeatedly pushed back.

            Yeah, Kim is kinda like Castro that way. Only with a more messed up country, but more artillery and thus better bargaining power for aid to extend his rule.

            Unfortunately, Iran is heavily involved in fueling both sides of the insurgency in Iraq, in order to kick US influence out of the region and keep the government from being too pro-US, which in turn means anti-Iran. I don't know about Afghanistan, but I'm sure Iran is involved in the same way with the Taliban as they are with various players in Iraq.

            Iran is definitely involved with the Iraqi insurgency, but I don't think they have much if any influence over the Sunni part. But they're doing just fine fueling both "sides" of the Shia insurgency. SIIC (ne SCIRI) and its militia the Badr Brigade and al Sadr's party and Madhi Army militia are heavily influenced by Iran; the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq was actually founded in Iran by Iraqi ex-patriots. It's funny how now that the Badr Brigade has been largely absorbed into/become the Iraqi Army and is thus the "good guys", we totally played up the Iranian connection to Sadr when the army went after him, but ignored the even deeper connection to the ruling party. But reality is, whichever side of the insurgency wins, it's a win for Iran. The whole Iraq war is a huge win for Iran.

            As far as the Taliban, I doubt Iran has much influence over them. As the hardest of hard-core Pushtun Sunnis, the Taliban hate Iran, and Iran hates them as much as they hated Saddam. But that's okay. Getting rid of one hated enemy and replacing it with a sympathetic government on one side, and getting rid of another hated enemy and merely replacing it with a weak government on the other is more than enough.

            I have very mixed feelings about the invasion of Iraq, intended to be a easy operation over quickly but marred by incompetent civilian leadership. It is extremely unfortunate that we simply can't respond to other problem states in the world due to the smaller-scale MAD circumstances that exist.

            Well thanks to all our forces being focused on Iraq, we can't respond period. It was never going to be an easy operation, it was never going to be quick, but the very fact that the idiots in charge thought otherwise made it so, so much worse than it would have been. It's mind boggling how badly we've shot ourselves in the foot.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by aero6dof (415422)

          I knew damn well that the actually dangerous countries, Iran and North Korea, would be left more or less alone while the weak and harmless one was going to be invaded.

          After looking at the U.S. military rolling into Iraq, what strategic calculation could a smaller nation make? How does a little country hold up against a superpower who doesn't hold back from using conventional military options? If they weren't going nuclear before, it must look at lot more attractive later - even if it only serves as a bargin

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ncc74656 (45571) *

      sure they can put a man into space, the problem has always been to get them back down safely once up there. When will they be able to do that?

      They're willing to send people on suicide bombing missions...it's plausible that they'd take up suicide space missions as well. The only problem (from their point of view) is that in space, no one can hear you scream Allahu akhbar.

  • by Thelasko (1196535) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:00PM (#24693485) Journal
    with a budget of $50 and use a hedgehog [armorgames.com] as a proof of concept to secure further funding.
    • by iamlucky13 (795185) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @07:10PM (#24697441)
      Their rocket development program is almost that elementary compared to their stated goals.

      The Safir rocket is an adaptation of their Shahab-3 missile. This is a medium range ballistic missile and one of several they claimed to have test-launched en masse last month, giving Stephen Colbert an easy 10 minutes of fill material after it was found out the photos of the launch were doctored. It seems their Shahab inventory, at least flight-ready Shahab's, is not as large as they want outsiders to believe.

      The Shahab itself is based on the North Korean Nodong missile, which in turn was developed from second-hand Scud missiles acquired from Egypt. Going back even further, the Scud originated in the 50's in the Soviet Union as a scaled down, improved version of the German V-2. Whew! Talk about a long lineage.

      For the launch vehicle derivative, it apparently has been fitted with a different second stage, possibly derived from Soviet SA-2 surface to air missiles, and probably a small third stage with a payload fairing for the orbital version. Payload would likely be very small...the Shahab-3 only carries a 1 ton warhead on a sub-orbital trajectory. The launch weight is less than SpaceX's Falcon-1, which has a 700kg LEO capability and presumably a higher-performance engine.

      Despite not having a large technical infrastructure, Iran is not entirely devoid of reasonably competent engineers. Given enough resolve and a couple more tries, they will probably succeed. It at least appears theoretically possible for that rocket to reach orbit.

      However, that is still a very, very long ways from putting a man in space, even counting on existing technologies. Such a rocket will not scale well at all, meaning they will need to develop something completely new from the ground up...because North Korea isn't going to be able to supply them with a Soyuz to copy. China, for example, launched their first satellite in 1970, but it wasn't 2003 that they actually put a person in orbit. That was after drawing on Soviet experience and 3-4 generations of their own ballistic mis...err, I mean expendable launch vehicles.

      Like many of their past claims, there's little reason to expect Iran to be able to follow through on the man in space claim for the foreseeable future.
  • by Sir_Real (179104) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:00PM (#24693487)

    I thought we neutralized the ICBM boogey man with our missile defense stuff. Isn't that why Russia's pissed at Poland right now?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mweather (1089505)
      Sure, if we convince our enemies to put tracking chips in their missiles and to launch them when and where we want them to, and to not use countermeasures we can shoot down almost 50% of them. But for some reason they don't want to play ball.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Shakrai (717556)

        Sure, if we convince our enemies to put tracking chips in their missiles and to launch them when and where we want them to, and to not use countermeasures we can shoot down almost 50% of them. But for some reason they don't want to play ball.

        Which makes Russia's bellyaching over our deployment all the more amusing. The base in Poland can't intercept missiles launched from Russia to North America (they tend to go over the pole) and even if it could Russia probably has the technology to defeat or at least overwhelm it.

        That 50% might just be enough to stop an Iranian or North Korean missile though.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Hatta (162192)

          Actually, it makes Russia's bellyaching all the more appropriate and reasonable. There's no way this system could be used to provide any reasonable sort of defense. It just doesn't work well enough.

          So if the US isn't going to use it for defense, then what are they going to use it for? Most likely offense.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MightyYar (622222)

        To be fair, it's possible that the anti-ballistic-missile tech will progress in the time that it takes Iran to finally get an ICBM with nuclear warhead working.

    • by Experiment 626 (698257) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:22PM (#24693869)

      I thought we neutralized the ICBM boogey man with our missile defense stuff. Isn't that why Russia's pissed at Poland right now?

      This is the problem with having a defense that is somewhat effective but not perfect. If you have a system that can shoot down, say, 50% of nuclear missiles, the Russians look at it and see that their nuclear arsenal is only half as effective a threat as it once was, and get annoyed. However, you still don't want to trust your life to something that has become a coin toss (maybe the shield will shoot the missile down, maybe the city will be obliterated, who knows?) The Russians also want to discourage further development of missile defense, because if America ever does manage to get it reliable enough to count on, that leaves them in the same losing position that unilateral disarmament would.

  • by MarvinIsANerd (447357) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:00PM (#24693489)

    "After Iran's first attempt to launch a satellite on Sunday fell noticeably short of the Earth's atmosphere"

    And we all know how hard it is to reach the Earth's atmosphere!

  • I heard that zimbabwe planed to do that once too. We all know what became of that.

  • uh huh... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spiffmastercow (1001386) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:02PM (#24693525)
    The ballistic missiles? Nah, they're just launch vehicles. And the nuclear material? It's just for power plants. We really need these things, since we have so little power-generating natural resources, and such a booming commercial satellite launching industry.
  • is just for a peaceful (and extremely expensive) nuclear power program. Not that I blame them.
  • by halivar (535827) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <reglefb>> on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:04PM (#24693557) Homepage

    Will there be a Iranian Space Information Minister to tell us about all the wonderful things happening in the space program?

    "Our cosmonauts have reported to have seen from space that Italy looks like the boot of Allah striking the Zionist regime. Soon we will harvest the moon for cheese and will no longer rely on the vile cartoon-drawing Danish."

    Now mods... before you mod me flamebait, first consider this: could I possibly be trolling, instead?

    • by hey! (33014) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:57PM (#24695441) Homepage Journal

      I know you're making a joke here, but the joke is less funny the more you know about Iran. Iran and Iraq differ by a lot more than one consonant. For one thing, the way their government works is much more complicated than the old Baghdad Bob's Baathist regime.

      First of all, charming Mr. Ahmadinejad, although he is quite capable of saying some pretty outrageous things, doesn't wield supreme power, or even anything close to it. The Supreme Leader, Ali Khameni, is much more powerful. But even his power is arguably the ultimate one, it is by design much more awkward for him to wield than, say, Saddam's version of ultimate power.

      There are even relative moderates in the government like Akbar Rafsanjani, former president and current chairman of both the Expendiency Council and Assembly of Experts. The Assembly theoretically has the power to dismiss the Supreme Leader, although no actions in that direction have ever, so far as we know, been taken.

      The point here is that the Iranian government isn't even close to being the kind of dictatorship where everybody has to parrot the President's fantasies. To tell you the truth, it isn't quite like any other form of government I can think of, it's more like a hybrid of a democratic Republic and a theocracy, with the theocracy acting primarily in a judicial role but with certain executive powers theoretically in their direct or indirect control. Ack, that's a really bad summary, but the best I can do.

      The important thing that everybody should understand about Iran is that the Iranian government is not anything monolithic entity driven by the ego or ideology of any single person, not even the Supreme Leader.

      The way we deal with such a country isn't quite the same as you would deal with a dictatorship. Perhaps one might approach Iran in the way we dealt with the old totalitarian states, although Iran isn't really very much like them. There is a power structure there which, through its various organs, might be dealt with pragmatically. Such dealings might even, in some cases, tip the balance of power between factions.

      The Iranians take seriously the idea of being an "Islamic Republic". It seems almost incomprehensible to the Western mind that this could be anything but a sham, but it's not. There's a thousand years of Shiite historical and religious thought which limits the ability of even senior religious leaders to wield absolute power.

  • just slight of hand (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jriding (1076733) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:05PM (#24693583)

    Just another way to say "we are really not trying to improve our missile technology." then one day they will all of a sudden have a intercontinental missiles, with a look what we found expression on their face.

    not good.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:06PM (#24693603)

    The long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into space can also be used for launching weapons. Iran says it has no intention to use the technology for launching nuclear warheads."

    It could also be used to deliver a payload of the following things to the earth from orbit

    - Ice Cream
    - Ninja Stars
    - Signed copies of Limbo of the Lost [wikipedia.org] or Daikatana

    You think that we could leave the nefarious plans, no matter how obvious, up to the readers? Sheesh!

  • by Webious (1317179) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:10PM (#24693665)
    despite all the propaganda, I really don't see the Iranians ever developing a nuclear weapons programs as it will ultimately work against them. They will never be able to match their arsenal to that of US or UK or France or Russia or Israel. Maybe they really want to use nuclear energy for power generation as their population is exploding, creating more demand for energy (at this time they import more than %40 of the gasoline they need for domestic consumption and have to burn fuel to generate electricity). and maybe they do want to have a space program without diverting the technology for use in ICBMs.
    • by Life+Liberty+Freedom (1345021) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:24PM (#24693905)
      And maybe the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny are real too....
    • by CodeBuster (516420) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:33PM (#24694053)

      They will never be able to match their arsenal to that of US or UK or France or Russia or Israel.

      They don't care. That is the problem. The doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction [wikipedia.org] (MAD) that kept the peace (at least relatively, proxy wars were still fought in a limited fashion but only up to a point) for nearly fifty (50) years during the Cold War was based upon one simple notion: the other side might no like us but at least they are not crazy OR in the words of our late great President John F. Kennedy,

      "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link, is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's futures, and we are all mortal."

      Iran is a theocracy officially governed by religion which doesn't cherish the future of its children (instead it glorifies suicide bombing) and believes in immortality with Allah and 70 virgins in heaven. Now you begin to see why allowing such people to have even one bomb is such a concern. There is more than an outside chance that they might choose to use their bomb against Israel or the United States or Europe regardless of the consequences (i.e. in their minds they all die in the retaliatory strike and go to their reward of 70 virgins). Religion and powerful weapons are and have always been a dangerous mix.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NeutronCowboy (896098)

        Yup. Now combine this with the fact that if Iraq had actually had nuclear-tipped ICMBs, the USA would not have attacked it, and you have
        a) a very powerful incentive for Iran to have nuclear missiles for self-preservation
        b) less of a self-preservation instinct than other nuclear nations that came before
        c) a lot of powerful Iranians who are very pissed at certain segments of the world population

        All of this means that there isn't shit anyone can do to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons (short of turning it

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:28PM (#24695011)

        Bullshit. It is completely different thing to use suicide attacks in warfare or terrorism and to commit a national suicide.

        We heard this same crap about Chinese and Russians. You know, they're not real people, they're not thinking like us etc. etc. etc.

        The leaders of Iran are very much interested in maximizing their well-being in this world. And filling up their pockets in the process. Most of Iran's theocrats are also businessmen. Christians are not the only hypocrites.

      • by Plutonite (999141) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:50PM (#24695333)

        Don't be silly. Your argument does not even apply to fundamentalists/extremists (such as the khomenei, bin laden..etc). Why haven't the chief heads of al-qaeda waged an all out suicidal war in the open against the western soldiers? Why hasn't bin laden blown himself up to go to heaven and be with allah and the beautiful virgins forever? Why didn't the Iranians cross over into Iraq and do the same? That is the ultimate goal, right?

        If it was as simple as you state, and the Persians think the way you think they do, they would have already attacked the US and Israel. By your logic, they don't need a nuclear bomb, they just want provoke war and die in the consequences, and they can do that very easily.

        The truth is they're just talking, because tough talk is what keeps them in power (kind of like over here in the good old USA). Gone are the days of conquest in the name of spreading religion. Now it's mostly madmen who perceive themselves as saviors, unemployed and desperate young men who believe them (terrorist recruits), and dictators trying to stay in power. The muslims right now should be the least of our worries.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by BlackSnake112 (912158)

          The leaders do not want to die. And they have convinced many young (often no to educated) to die for them. That way they get to continuing to spread the word and recruit more people to die for them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chris Burke (6130)

        I'm not even going to argue with your characterization of Muslims. There are certainly some that more or less fit your description, and while I may think they are an extremely small percentage, that isn't the point.

        The point is, no matter how crazy and suicidal you imagine the average Iranian, their leaders certainly are neither. Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, and all the ruling clerics didn't go to the trouble to acquire all that power just to lose it in a nuclear blast over Tehran. Like all politicians, whethe

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BitterOldGUy (1330491)
      Maybe. Or it's Government that's feels continually threatened by Western powers and Israel, it finds it's control continually slipping among the populace, worried about their enemy to the South will become more of a threat now that it's an American ally, a leadership that's embolden by Islamic militancy to stand up to the Great Satan, and a Government that fears that unless it goes nuclear, it will never be treated with the respect, no reverence, it thinks it deserves from the International Community.
    • I really don't see the Iranians ever developing a nuclear weapons programs as it will ultimately work against them.

      No, it will work for them by being a deterrent to Israel (and by extension the U.S.) with its nuclear armament. It will be the same situation as exists between the U.S. and Russia with one vital difference: when Iran obtains nuclear weapons, it can hold the oil fields of the entire Middle East hostage if the U.S., or Israel, decides to attack it.

      And before someone asks the obvious questi

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dkleinsc (563838)

      Yeah, just like how having only a few nuclear weapons had absolutely no benefit to North Korea.

      Oh wait ...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:10PM (#24693675)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:14PM (#24693729)

    A small child can be trained on video games and then sealed into the warhead's reentry vehicle to steer it down to its target. Won't add too much weight, and it's probably cheaper to develop than an equivalent electronic guidance package, given the flexibility and intelligence of the control module. A culture of martyrdom gives Iran some interesting design options.

  • Space X (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bombula (670389) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:20PM (#24693833)

    So how did Iran - apparently a country containing only religious nutbags, comic book villains, and the lost apprentices of the former Iraqi Intelligence Ministry, according to the news - manage to successfully launch rocket capable of carrying a satellite while Space-X os 0-for-3?

    Maybe we should be a little concerned...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by thermian (1267986)

      Actually, the Iranian education system for the sciences is one of the best in the world.

      Note that this is for the upper/middle classes only.

      Iranian doctors have long been, or at least were until the whole post 9/11 thing started, considered to be among the finest in the world.

      My point is Iran doesn't only contain religious nutbags, that's a little thing called propaganda.

  • by StefanJ (88986) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:21PM (#24693859) Homepage Journal

    Get out the sandpaper and white glue space cadets, it's
    The Gee-Hod! [semroc.com].

  • by TheDarkener (198348) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:43PM (#24694257)

    Why is it every time Iran is mentioned in the mass media, that 'Nuclear weapons' has to be included?? Seems like we're just awaiting the day that they do something even remotely close to that, so we can say "SEE?? I TOLD YOU SO!"

    Jeez. Just let them go to the moon already. Not like we don't have an arsenal of nukes pointed in their direction anyway. Why are we any better? Because we already *have* them?

  • Russia? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sckeener (137243) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:44PM (#24694269)

    Is it any wonder that they are doing this? I'm sure this has been in the works, but with what Russia is doing, how many things can the US be a watch dog on? I'm sorry world...but at some point y'all have to be concerned too...can't just rely on the US...and you shouldn't because by evidence of the Iraq War, we aren't always (or even close to) right.

  • Religion in space (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jbeaupre (752124) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @03:44PM (#24694275)
    I enjoy learning about religions. The various traditions and such. And one of the fascinating aspects is translating certain rules, laws, customs, etc into space. Presumably Iran, as an Islamic republic, will send devout Muslims into space and will have to answer some interesting questions. For instance, if you orbit the earth every 90 minutes, you experience a very short day. If you are Muslim, how does that effect praying 5 times a day (every 18 minutes!). And what about direction? If anyone has any serious thoughts, I'm curious hear them. In a related vein, can devout Jews use thrusters (light a fire) on the Sabbath?
  • by ZarathustraDK (1291688) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @04:40PM (#24695177)
    1. Drill a lot of oil.

    2. Send iranians into space.

    3. ???????

    4 Prophet!!!
  • It is to laugh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arthurpaliden (939626) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @05:14PM (#24695701)
    You know at one time Iran had the only democraticly elected secular government in the area. Unfortunatly they ran afoul of the oil companies. Something about wanting a proper return for their natural resources. Anyway this democratic secular governemt was overthrown in a US/UK backed coup and a dictator who was nice to the oil companies was installed. Which leads us to today. If the west would just keep their noses out of everybodies business the world would be so much better off. By the way the same applies to Afganistan, only now we have a real mess to clean up.
  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Thursday August 21, 2008 @07:38PM (#24697759)

    For all their attempts to be a major regional power they should spend less money on putting some Iranian in space a lot more effort on making sure the Iranian people have food, shelter, heat, roads, sewers, water and jobs.

    On one hand you have a country developing ICBM's and trying to put people in space and on the other you have hundreds of people freezing to death because a government with some of the largest energy reserves in the world can't provide natural gas to rural populations living in the mountains.

    Personally I'm astounded the Iranian people or even the clerics of Iran put up with it. Everyone in control must be so out of touch with the people on the ground they don't even realize the difference they could make and the power Iran would have if they could solve the real economic and infrastructure problems the country has.

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday August 22, 2008 @03:01AM (#24701763) Journal

      Iranian people have food, shelter, heat, roads, sewers, water and jobs.

      Iranian people have food, shelte,r heat, roads, sewers, water and jobs. It may come as a surprise to some, but Iran, theoratic and totalitarian as it is, is not that poor. It's not up to the western life level, of course, but it is still a welfare state (as written in its constitution) with some fundamental guarantees for its citizens.

  • by Deputy Doodah (745441) on Friday August 22, 2008 @11:53AM (#24706763)
    Then they'll be able stone women to death with moon rocks.

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