Iran plans space launch of satellites weighing up to one-ton

A senior Iranian aerospace official says the Islamic Republic plans to send satellites, weighing up to a ton, into space within the next ten years in yet another step to “conquer the peaks of progress.”

Director of Iran’s Aerospace Industry Organization Mehdi Farahi said on Tuesday that Iran has launched a number of indigenous research satellites successfully into orbit, and is poised to send up Tolou (Sunrise) satellite within the next six months. He added that a home-designed and -built Simorgh (Phoenix) carrier will be used to take the satellites into space.

Farahi highlighted that within a 10-year period Iran is aiming at the prospect of launching into space a variety of satellites weighing up to one ton with the thrusting power of satellite carriers built in Iran.

Iran launched its first homemade satellite Omid (Hope) in 2009. The country also sent its first biocapsule of living creatures into space in February 2010, using its homemade Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) carrier.

Iran successfully placed its 15.3-kilogram Rasad (Observation) satellite into its circuit in June 2011.

Rasad’s mission was to take images from the earth and then dispatch those images along with telemetry information back to the earth stations.

On June 20, 2011, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran has obtained the technology to develop different satellites and will soon launch larger satellites that will be placed in circular orbits at an altitude of nearly 35,000 kilometers (21,748 miles).

Iran launched its indigenous Navid-e Elm-o Sanat (Harbinger of Science and Industry) satellite into orbit on February 3, 2012.

The satellite is a telecom, measurement and scientific one, whose records could be used in a wide range of fields.

Iran is one of the 24 founding members of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which was set up in 1959.

Tehran also plans to launch the country’s first manned mission to space by 2019.

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