Iran to launch several satellites: Ahmadinejad

Feb 07, 2011

Iran plans to launch several home-built satellites by March 2012, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday after the unveiling of four new prototypes.

"I think from the end of this (Iranian) year (to March 20) and through the next year, we will see many launches" of domestically-built satellites, Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony in Tehran.

The president's remarks coincide with celebrations of the 32nd anniversary of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution that falls on February 11.

Every year Iran uses the run-up to the anniversary to trumpet its scientific, technological and military achievements.

Iran's missile and space programmes have sparked concern abroad that such advanced technologies, combined with the nuclear know-how which the nation is acquiring, may enable Tehran to produce an atomic weapon.

Tehran denies its nuclear programme has military aims.

Iran unveiled on Monday what it said were prototypes of four new home-built satellites -- Rasad (Observation), Fajr (Dawn), Zafar (Victory) and Amir Kabir-1 and also the engines of a Safir-B1 (Ambassador-B1) rocket, reports said.

The country does not have an operational satellite of its own but Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced in December that two satellites, Fajr and Rasad-1, would be launched by the end of the current Iranian year to March 20.

But on Sunday, Vahidi said a launch date for Fajr and Rasad-1 was "not fixed" yet, indicating their launch would likely be delayed.

Iran in February 2009 sent into space its first home-built test satellite Omid (Hope) carried by a Safir-2 rocket.

Twelve months later, it launched a capsule carrying live turtles, rats and worms aboard a Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) rocket in what was Iran's first experiment to send living creatures into space.

Ahmadinejad repeated previous pronouncements that Tehran aims to send an Iranian into space by 2020.

"The aim of sending a man into space by 2020 can be achieved ... and before this we can send robots or other things," he said.

State television later showed him unveiling what was a space capsule intended to be launched by a future Iranian rocket Kavoshgar-4 carrying a monkey.

"Sending this is the first step towards sending a man into space," state news agency IRNA quoted Hamid Fazeli, the head of the Iranian Space Organisation, as saying.

Fajr, which was unveiled on Monday, is a reconnaissance satellite constructed by the defence ministry, while Amir Kabir-1, details of which were unavailable, is built by Tehran's Amir Kabir university.

Rasad is constructed by Malek Ashtar University of Tehran which is linked to Iran's elite military force, the Revolutionary Guards, while details of Zafar were unavailable.

Iranian media reports said last week that the Safir-B1 rocket can carry a satellite weighing 50 kilograms (110 pounds) into an elliptical orbit of 300 to 450 kilometres (185 to 280 miles).

Iran on Sunday opened its first centre to receive satellite images, a new stage in its space programme and the equipment for which it says have been manufactured locally.

Explore further: NASA's MMS observatories stacked for testing

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Iran to unveil new home-built satellite: report

Dec 24, 2009

Iran will unveil a new home-built satellite in February, a newspaper reported Thursday, amid Western concerns that Tehran is using its nuclear and space industries to develop atomic and ballistic weapons.

Iran sends rocket with animal menagerie into space

Feb 03, 2010

(AP) -- Iran announced Wednesday it has successfully launched a 10-foot-long research rocket carrying a mouse, two turtles and worms into space - a feat President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said showed Iran could ...

Iran aims to send man into space in nine years

Jul 23, 2010

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Friday that Iran plans to send a man into space by 2019 as a blow to Western powers pressing Tehran over its nuclear programme, state news agency IRNA reported.

Recommended for you

NASA's MMS observatories stacked for testing

22 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —Engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., accomplished another first. Using a large overhead crane, they mated two Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, observatories – ...

ISEE-3 comes to visit Earth

1 hour ago

(Phys.org) —It launched in 1978. It was the first satellite to study the constant flow of solar wind streaming toward Earth from a stable orbit point between our planet and the sun known as the Lagrangian ...

Testing immune cells on the International Space Station

15 hours ago

The human body is fine-tuned to Earth's gravity. A team headed by Professor Oliver Ullrich from the University of Zurich's Institute of Anatomy is now conducting an experiment on the International Space Station ...

Easter morning delivery for space station

21 hours ago

Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The shipment arrived Sunday morning via the SpaceX company's Dragon cargo capsule.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Apr 19, 2014

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

NASA's MMS observatories stacked for testing

(Phys.org) —Engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., accomplished another first. Using a large overhead crane, they mated two Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, observatories – ...

ISEE-3 comes to visit Earth

(Phys.org) —It launched in 1978. It was the first satellite to study the constant flow of solar wind streaming toward Earth from a stable orbit point between our planet and the sun known as the Lagrangian ...

Easter morning delivery for space station

Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The shipment arrived Sunday morning via the SpaceX company's Dragon cargo capsule.

Atom probe assisted dating of oldest piece of earth

(Phys.org) —It's a scientific axiom: big claims require extra-solid evidence. So there were skeptics in 2001 when University of Wisconsin-Madison geoscience professor John Valley dated an ancient crystal ...