An Iranian aerospace official says the country plans to launch an indigenously designed and manufactured satellite into orbit in early February next year.
Deputy head of Iran Space Agency (ISA), Hamid Fazeli, said on Tuesday that final tests are being carried out on several indigenous satellites. They include Sharif Sat, developed by Iranian students and academics from Sharif University of Technology, and AUT Sat, developed by Iranian scientists at Amir Kabir University of Technology.
He added that the launch is intended to mark the Ten-Day Dawn celebrations, which commemorate the 35th anniversary of the victory of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution and will be held on February 1-11, 2014, in Iran and several other countries.
Sharif Sat reportedly weighs less than 50 kilograms and is planned to be placed into a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at an altitude between 350 kilometers (217 miles) and 500 kilometers (310 miles) above the Earth’s surface.
The satellite will capture images with a high degree of accuracy and transmit them to stations on earth.
AUT Sat is a monitoring and telecommunications satellite, which weighs 100 kilograms. It is expected to have a lifespan of two years.
Iran launched its first indigenous satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009. The country also sent its first bio-capsule containing living creatures into the space in February 2010, using the indigenous Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) carrier.
The country is one of the 24 founding members of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which was set up in 1959.