Iran to launch observation satellite on nuclear talks day

May 14, 2012

Iran will launch next week an experimental observation satellite, on the day of talks with world powers over its controversial nuclear programme, the official IRNA news agency reported on Monday.

"The Fajr satellite will be launched on Khordad 3 (May 23)," the director of the Aerospace Industries Mehdi Farahi was quoted as telling.

It will be the fourth satellite sent into space since 2009 by Iran, whose space programme has attracted the concern of international community which is suspecting Tehran is seeking to develop long-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying conventional warheads or nuclear ones.

This is the first time that the Islamic republic has announced in advance a date for the of a satellite. Previous launches were reported after the operations were successfully undertaken.

On May 23 Iran opens talks with world powers in Baghdad over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme which has been denounced by several members of the UN Security Council.

The Security Council has imposed on Iran an almost total embargo on nuclear and space technologies since 2007.

Part of the international community, namely the West, suspects Iran, despite its denials, of seeking to develop with the ultimate goal to be able to equip its missiles.

Iran's previous satellite launches triggered condemnation from the West who accused Tehran of "provocation."

The Fajr (Dawn) satellite was presented by the Iranian officials as "an observation and measurement" satellite weighing 50 kilos (110 pounds), built by Sa-Iran, a company affiliated to the .

Fajr, which is equipped with solar panels, has an expected life of 18 months, much longer than the three previous observation equipment or experimental communications already put into orbit by Iran which lasted a few weeks.

Iran has so far launched Omid in February 2009, Rassad in June 2011 and Navid in February 2012.

Farahi said that Fajr would be launched by Safir-B1 rocket which is able to place a load of 50 kilos on a low orbit of 300 to 450 kilometres (186-279 miles).

According to experts, the Safir-B1 is close to the Iranian ballistic missile Shahab-3 which is derived from the North Korean No-Dong missile.

Farahi said the aero-space industry has employed 10,000 Iranian directly and another 500,000 indirectly.

Explore further: Total lunar eclipse before dawn on April 4th

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 to put a monkey into space: report

Jun 16, 2011

Iran plans to send a live monkey into space in the summer, the country's top space official said after the launch of the Rassad-1 satellite, state television reported on its website on Thursday.

Recommended for you

Total lunar eclipse before dawn on April 4th

7 hours ago

An unusually brief total eclipse of the Moon will be visible before dawn this Saturday, April 4th, from western North America. The eclipse happens on Saturday evening for Australia and East Asia.

Cassini: Return to Rhea

20 hours ago

After a couple of years in high-inclination orbits that limited its ability to encounter Saturn's moons, NASA's Cassini spacecraft returned to Saturn's equatorial plane in March 2015.

Comet dust—planet Mercury's 'invisible paint'

Mar 30, 2015

A team of scientists has a new explanation for the planet Mercury's dark, barely reflective surface. In a paper published in Nature Geoscience, the researchers suggest that a steady dusting of carbon from p ...

It's 'full spin ahead' for NASA soil moisture mapper

Mar 30, 2015

The 20-foot (6-meter) "golden lasso" reflector antenna atop NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory is now ready to wrangle up high-resolution global soil moisture data, following the successful ...

What drives the solar cycle?

Mar 30, 2015

You can be thankful that we bask in the glow of a relatively placid star. Currently about halfway along its 10 billion year career on the Main Sequence, our sun fuses hydrogen into helium in a battle against ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (1) May 14, 2012
I wish Iran Great Success in it's various technological programs.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.