Head of Iran’s Space Agency (ISA) Hamid Fazeli says the country plans to launch two indigenous satellites into orbit by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2013).
“The launching of the two satellites, Fajr and Shrif Sat, by the end of the current year is on our agenda,” Fazeli told reporters on Saturday.
Pointing to the latest developments regarding Iran’s Nahid satellite, Fazeli pointed out that the project is making headway and expressed optimism that the satellite will be unveiled in February.
The ISA chief noted that Nahid satellite was initially scheduled to be launched into orbit by the end of the current Iranian year, but this has been postponed as more work needs to be done on the project.
Iran launched its first indigenous satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009. The country also sent its first biocapsule of living creatures into space in February 2010, using the indigenous Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) carrier.
Moreover, in June 2011, Iran put the 15.3-kilogram Rasad (Observation) orbiter in space. Rasad’s mission was to take images of the Earth and transmit them along with telemetry information to the ground stations.
Iran also launched Navid-e Elm-o Sanat (Harbinger of Science and Industry), another indigenous satellite, into orbit on February 3, 2012.
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.
Tehran also plans to launch the country’s first manned mission to space by 2019.