IranMiddle East

Iranian ICT Minister Dismisses Failure of Satellite Launch

Iran's Minister of Information and Communications Technology (​ICT) Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi rejected the Pentagon’s claims that Tehran has failed to launch a satellite into the space.

“Pars 1 and (Nahid) Venus satellites, whose entire launching processes have been paved, are now in the hands of the Iranian Space Agency, and the process to send them to us has not yet been paved and the report on the unsuccessful launch of the satellite is not true,” Azari Jahromi told reporters in Tehran after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

He also added that Iran’s construction of a satellite with 1 meter resolution will be finished soon upon an order by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

His comments came in response to a claim by Pentagon that Iran attempted and failed to launch a satellite into orbit in early June.

The CNN claimed in a report that US defense officials believe Iran to be preparing for another attempt in the near future, as indicated by satellite images captured by commercial firms Planet and Maxar, which show increased activity at the Imam Khomeini Spaceport in recent days.

Iran has made major achievements in space technology and satellite construction over the past years.

Deputy Head of Iran’s Space Research Center Jafar Salehi said last October that the country plans to manufacture Nahid 3 (Venus 3) satellite to be placed into the geostationary orbit.

“Nahid 3 is the final step in the telecommunication satellites which will be built to pave the ground for Iran’s access to geo operational orbit,” Salehi told FNA at the time.

He added that the satellite is now in the study, feasibility and conceptual design phase.

Salehi also said that at present Iran has designed and built the engineering sample of Nahid 2 telecommunication satellite and has delivered it to the Iranian Space Agency, adding, “We are preparing for delivering the qualitative sample of the satellite.”

Salehi said that Iran would send a new telecommunication satellite named Nahid 1 (Venus 1) into the orbit.

“We have had the construction of Nahid 1 and Nahid 2 satellites on our agenda. Nahid 1 was completed 3 years ago and its periodical tests have been conducted and it can be launched and Iran plans to orbit it,” Salehi said.

He added that Nahid 2 which is more advanced than Nahid 1 is also under construction, explaining that it enjoys the capability to go to higher orbits.

Salehi said that Iran will soon start designing Nahid 3 satellite.

Last year, Azari Jahromi announced that his country was poised to launch its latest telecommunication satellite, Nahid 1, adding that two other satellites are being assembled to be launched later.

“With regard to satellite design and manufacture, we have completed Nahid 1 telecommunication satellite, which is ready for launch, and Pars 2 satellite is being assembled. Moreover, the engineering model of Nahid 2 satellite has been completed, and the construction process of its flight and qualification model are underway,” Azari Jahromi said.                                       

The Iranian ICT minister then explained about design and manufacture of space engines, saying that testing Arash space engine is another major achievement of the Space Research Center.

“The most important issue in the field of aerospace is that all these successes were achieved in a situation where the country, and [Iran’s] aerospace industries in particular, are under sanctions and gaining access to such technology has not been possible in any way,” Azari Jahromi noted.

The minister reaffirmed that “Iran has been so far conducting major activities in the field of aerospace and has managed to master the full cycle of space technology. 

He noted that the country’s Space Research Center has been among those Iranian institutions, which have played a prominent part in the development of this technology.”

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