Posted by: Christian | May 20, 2009

Afghans in Outer Space

After about 8 years in Afghanistan the Soviets managed to put an Afghan into outer space.

Cosmonaut Abdul Ahad Mohmand:

After 8 years in Afghanistan, the United States still hasn’t put an Afghan into orbit. Tsk, tsk.

More can be found here and here. And you can join the facebook group dedicated to the one-and-only Afghan to go into outer space. He now lives in Germany.

The current commander of the ANA Air Corps, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Darwan, trained as a cosmonaut with the Soviets but never made the trip up. He was replaced by Mohmand in order to, according to the space nerds, get a Pashtun in orbit rather than a Tajik. Even in outer space the ethnic politics of Afghanistan continue. He consoled himself, I’m sure, with MiG-21 runs on the mujahideen.


  1. Well you have to note that starting from the 1950s, the USSR provided heavy training for the Afghan army and air force.

    The reason was that the US didn’t want to partner with the Afghans. Only a handful full of Afghan were trained in the US before the USSR invasion. The majority of that group of US trained personnel were killed in the “Saur Revolution”.

    But it looks like the US is finally training the Afghan Air Force in a decent size– hope that it continues because the Afghans need to start to take care of their own country. And I know that most Afghans feel that way.

  2. The ethnic face of Afghanistan speaks out in every sphere of life, politics and social. The foundation of democracy with the ouster of Taliban was laid on ethnic basis–a bitter truth.


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