Iranian, Russian universities to launch joint satellite projects

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iran University of Science and Technology and Russia’s Kazan Federal University have signed an agreement to build and launch satellites into space, academic officials declared on Saturday, adding that the two academic centers have also taken up to cooperate in other areas of research as well.

“The Iran University of Science and Technology and Russia’s Kazan Federal University have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to start joint research projects, including satellites (construction and launch),” President of Iran University of Science and Technology Mohammad Barkhordari told FNA on Saturday.

He also said that presidents of 13 Iranian and Russian universities have held meetings in Russia recently and signed several MoUs, among which mention can be made to an MoU on exchange of students and professors and joint scientific projects.

Iran has taken long strides in recent years to develop its space industry and to build different types of satellites and explorers.

New Head of the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) Manouchehr Manteqi announced late September that building and orbiting national satellites was his agency’s priority.

“Orbiting satellites is our priority; generally we have strategies for different levels and we will start from lower to the higher orbits,” Manteqi, who used to serve as the managing director of Iran Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO), told FNA.

He also announced plans to promote the students projects to build satellites.

In relevant remarks in April, Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi called on the ISA and other relevant bodies and universities to double efforts to build and orbit at least one national satellite for communication purposes.

“We need at least one national satellite and we should understand our existing weaknesses to materialize this goal,” Vaezi said.

Noting that four new satellites built by Iranian experts were on the country’s launch list at present, he said, “ISA will choose one of these four satellites to send it into the space.”

Vaezi also informed that in addition to Sharif Sat and Tadbir (Wisdom) satellites, other satellites have also been built by the Iranian Space Research Center and Amir Kabir University of Technology, and all the four will be launched in the near future.

In February, Iran’s domestically-made National Fajr (Dawn) satellite was launched into orbit and started transmitting data to its stations on earth.

The satellite made its first contact with its ground stations hours after it was put into the orbit

Fajr satellite is technically characterized by an orbit which could promote from 250 to 450 kilometers through a thruster or an engine.

Equipped with GPS navigation system, Fajr, weighing 52 kilos, is the fourth Iranian-made satellite which was put into orbit after three others between 2009 and 2012.

After Iran launched its first locally-built satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009, it put two other satellites including, Rasad (Observation), and Navid-e Elm-o Sanat (Harbinger of Science and Industry) into space.

 By Fars News Agency