The Zafar, a fully sophisticated satellite built at the Iran’s University of Science and Technology, was announced by the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) on Saturday to have been placed atop the ready-to-launch list.
The new satellite, designed for an 18-month activity plan, weighs about 90 kilograms and is equipped with four color cameras to capture the Earth’s surface with a resolution of 80 meters.
Zafar is similar in size and weight to its previous version — the Payam satellite — but distinct in one way as it can move in circular orbit and send a message alongside its exploratory missions.
In January 2019, the domestically-built Payam (Message) satellite was launched into space with an aim to collect environmental information; however, technical problems that occurred during the final stage of the launch prevented the spacecraft from reaching orbit.
Watch Iran’s launch of domestically-built satellite into spaceWatch Iran
Iran’s indigenous satellite launch capabilities first made headlines when the first locally-built satellite, Omid (Hope), was launched in 2009.
The country also sent its first bio-capsule containing living creatures into space in February 2010, using a Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) carrier.
In February 2015, the Islamic Republic placed its domestically-made Fajr (Dawn) satellite into orbit, which is capable of taking and transmitting high-quality photos to stations on Earth.
Iran considers its space program a matter of national pride, and has said its space vehicle launches are for scientific purposes.