IranMiddle EastTechnology

Countdown Begins for Launching Iran’s Next Satellite

Iran is undertaking the final steps for launching its fully home-grown satellite Zafar to send it into orbit in the coming days, said Spokesman for the Defense Ministry's Aerospace Organization Ahmad Hosseini.

The Iranian-made Zafar Satellite has been stationed at Imam Khomeini space center to be sent into space by Simorq launcher in the coming days, Hosseini said on Friday.

The official added that some 200 main processes have been accomplished by 30 teams and all the infrastructures have been prepared for the operation.

He noted that taking step by step data gathering and doing analyses are of importance for scientists to be able to take further strides.

On Monday, Iran’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said that his country will rocket its Zafar (Victory) observation satellite before Friday to place it into orbit at an altitude of 530 km.

Taking to his official Twitter account, Azari Jahromi said, “We are not afraid of failure and do not lose hope… Zafar satellite will be launched by the end of this [Iranian] week to reach 530-km orbit.”

He then expressed hope that the launch will open a new chapter in Iran’s space activities.

The minister’s remarks came after Head of the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) Morteza Barari announced earlier the same day that the Zafar satellite, designed and manufactured by the scientists and elite students of Iran University of Science and Technology, would be placed in orbit in one of the two weekend days of Thursday or Friday.

“The Zafar satellite is set to be launched by a Simorq carrier to be put in the 530-kilometer orbit, after which we will be able to provide various services to the people and society,” Barari said in an interview with Iran’s Fars News Agency.

The ISA head reaffirmed, “The Zafar satellite is capable of collecting images, providing telecommunication services and detecting space signals.”

“The Zafar satellite has general applications and, in the near future, the important sectors of science, technology and environment will be all witnessing changes through using this national product,” he added. 

In January, Iran launched its Payam (Message) satellite into space with an aim to collect data on environmental change; however, technical problems that occurred during the final stage of the launch prevented the spacecraft from reaching orbit.

The launch of its carrier rocket was preceded by warnings from Washington, which claimed Iran’s space rocket launches would violate a 2015 UN Security Council resolution, because they use ballistic missile technology.

Resolution 2231 merely “calls on” Iran “to refrain from any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

Iran maintains it has no intention of acquiring nuclear weapons, and says its aerospace activities are peaceful and do not violate the Security Council resolution.

Iran launched its first locally-built satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009. The country also sent its first bio-capsule containing living creatures into space in February 2010, using Kavoshgar (Explorer)-3 carrier.

In February 2015, Iran placed its domestically-made Fajr (Dawn) satellite into orbit, which is capable of taking and transmitting high-quality photos to stations on Earth.                                                                                                

Meantime, on Saturday, Barari told FNA that his compatriot scientists and researchers had made great achievements in the field of space technology, adding that his country would send 4 home-made satellites into orbit in the next local calendar year (March 2020-March 2021).

He said Iranian researchers and scientists had made great accomplishments in the field of space and aeronautics, so much so that his country was among the top 5 countries of the world with a space station and among top 9 countries of the world in the field of designing and making satellites.

Barari added that accordingly, Iran would launch 4 home-made satellites into the space in the next local calendar year of 1399 (March 21, 2020-March 20, 2021), explaining that “one satellite would be sent to the orbit in each season”.

“These will include two satellites for measurement and imaging and two others for IT purposes,” he added.

Barari underlined that the ISA is after contributing to Iran’s advancements and social welfare, reminding that satellites are like propelling engines for these goals.

Back to top button