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Post Info TOPIC: Saudi Arabia to put human in space, will first test on woman, chimp


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Date: Sep 26, 2008
Saudi Arabia to put human in space, will first test on woman, chimp

 RIYADH. Saudi Arabia says it intends to put a woman in space within five years and a human being within ten. According to a spokesman for the kingdom's newly formed space agency, tests are already underway in the Mysteries of Space-Sorcery laboratory in Riyadh. "Safety is our key concern," he said. "Hence we are testing on women, then dogs, and then chimps, in that order."

The spokesman, Prince Ali Ali Akhsenfri, also unveiled an artist's impression of the capsule that will take the first test subject, a woman called Leila, into space.

Shaped like a minaret and beautifully embossed with ancient Arabic designs and texts, the capsule also features a large viewing window which "may or may not have glass installed in it".

"If the subject's family wish us to install some glass, perhaps because they fear she will catch a cold from the breezes of deep space, then they are welcome to pay for it," said Akhsenfri.

He explained that the capsule was the result of years of development and represented a radical conceptual departure for engineers at the Mysteries of Space-Sorcery laboratory.

"Our first designs leaned fairly heavily towards flying carpets, Ottomans pulled by a team of wild geese, and white stage pursued by hounds that would leap off a cliff and into space," he said.

He said that these designs had wanted to reflect the lyricism and mystery of Arabian culture, while still getting the science right.

However he said that early tests had been disappointing.

"The carpets tended to burn, or, if made in China, melt. Same thing with the geese, except obviously they didn't really ever melt, just sort of exploded as soon as we introduced the rocket fuel to the system.

"We also learned that white stags can only jump about ten or twenty feet in the air, and that they then develop considerable downward momentum."

But, he said, the new designs were a major step forward.

"We've opted for a minimalist interior: just a settee, a bowl of scented water, some maps of the cosmos, and a large lever. Forward to go, back to stop.

"We constantly had to keep in mind that we needed to make it simple enough for a woman to use."

He said once these basics had been got right, more complex technology would be introduced for tests piloted by dogs and chimps.

The press conference ended with a minute of silence in remembrance of former Space Vizier Abdul Hameed, who was crushed and killed in his laboratory by a falling white deer.

Courtesy of

-- Edited by minoglie at 19:24, 2008-09-26

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