Wednesday, January 5, 2011

[wvns] Iran to launch 2 new satellites

Iran to launch 2 new satellites
Sat Dec 25, 2010

Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi says the country will launch two new domestically made satellites by March 2011.

"Two satellites named 'Fajr' and 'Rasad' will be launched into space by the end of the [current Iranian] year," Vahidi was quoted by Fars news agency as saying on Saturday.

"Different satellites are being constructed [in the country], and at least two satellites will be launched by the end of the year," he said.

"These satellites are quite different from previous ones and are able to stay in space longer," the Iranian defense chief added.

"The energy system of these satellites has improved," he further explained.

Iran launched its first domestically-produced satellite, Omid, in 2009.

To date, only eight countries have put domestically-made satellites into orbit.

Iran also announced in early December that it was getting prepared to launch its first manned mission into space.

"The initial steps for the plan have been taken, and the study phase on the definition of subsystems, sub-projects, costs, and what projects need to be developed toward that end, has been conducted, which needs to be submitted to the Supreme Council on Space," said Iranian Communications and Information Technology Minister Reza Taqipour.

Iran unveiled its first major space center in 2008 by launching the first Iranian rocket, Explorer-1, into space.

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



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