TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Head of Iran’s National Space Center Manouchehr Manteqi announced on Tuesday that the country will launch the indigenous “Simorgh” satellite carrier for test in early spring.
Manteqi told the Tasnim News Agency that the missile will be launched in three phases: two test launches, one of which will take place in the coming weeks and the other in late summer, and a third launch, which will most probably take place in early 2017.
Simorgh satellite carrier is one of the most important projects whose contract was signed by Iran’s Vice-President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari and Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan back in early fall 2015.
Less than 10 countries in the world are capable of designing and building such a rocket.
According to Iran’s Space Agency officials, the first generation of the satellite carrier is capable of carrying communications and sensing satellites as heavy as 100 kg to orbits some 500 km above the earth.
Meanwhile, Iran is building its first sensing satellite named “Tolou (Dawn) 1”, which can take images of the earth with an accuracy of 25 square meters from a distance of 500 km above the earth.
Iran successfully launched into orbit its first indigenous data-processing satellite, Omid (Hope), back on February 2, 2009.
As part of a comprehensive plan to develop its space program, Iran also successfully launched its second satellite, dubbed Rassad (Observation), into the earth’s orbit in June 2011. Rassad’s mission was to take images of the earth and transmit them along with telemetry information to ground stations.
The country’s third domestically-built Navid-e Elm-o Sanat (Harbinger of Science and Industry) satellite was sent into orbit in February 2012.
In January 2013, Iran sent a monkey into space aboard an indigenous bio-capsule code-named Pishgam (Pioneer).
And later in December 2013, the country’s scientists successfully sent a monkey, called ‘Fargam’ or Auspicious, into space aboard Pajoheshan (Research) indigenous rocket and returned the live simian back to earth safely.