Iran aims to place satellites in geostationary orbits

A senior Iranian aerospace official says the Islamic Republic plans to send satellites into the Earth’s geostationary orbits (GEO) after the end of Iran’s Fifth Five-Year Development Plan.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Director of Iran’s Aerospace Industry Organization Mehdi Farahi said Sunday that the design and production of satellite carrier rockets with a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) are given a high priority in the country’s Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (2010-2015).

He added that such carrier rockets could place satellites, weighing up to a ton, into circular orbits about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) above the Earth’s surface.

The official further said Iran aims to send other satellites into geostationary orbits, around 36,000 kilometers (22,320 miles) above the Earth’s equator, after the end of the country’s Fifth Development Plan.

Communications and weather satellites are often given geostationary orbits, so that the satellite antennas that communicate with them do not have to move to track them, but can be pointed permanently at the position in the sky where they stay.

Iran launched its first indigenous satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009. The country also blasted its first biocapsule of living creatures into space in February 2010, using the indigenous Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) carrier.

Moreover, in June 2011, Iran put the 15.3-kilogram Rasad (Observation) orbiter in space. Rasad’s mission was to take images from the Earth and transmit them along with telemetry information to the ground stations.

On June 20 last year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the country had obtained the technology to develop different satellites and would soon launch larger satellites that will be placed in circular orbits at an altitude of nearly 35,000 kilometers (21,748 miles).

Iran also launched Navid-e Elm-o Sanat (Harbinger of Science and Industry), another indigenous satellite into orbit on February 3, 2012.

The satellite is a telecom, measurement and scientific one, whose records could be used in a wide range of fields.

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

Tehran also plans to launch the country’s first manned mission to space by 2019.


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