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Iran to inaugurate West Asia’s biggest spaceport: Minister

File photo of Iran’s Pars-1 remote-sensing satellite

Iran's minister of communications and information technology says the Islamic Republic is to inaugurate the West Asia region’s biggest spaceport in its southern port city of Chabahar by early next year.

Issa Zarepour made the remarks in the southeastern city of Zahedan on Thursday.

“[The process of construction of] the first phase of the port is being completed thanks to round-the-clock endeavor,” he said.

He noted that the process had so far witnessed as much as “56-percent physical progress.”

“The facility would be inaugurated by the Ten-Day Dawn ceremonies,” the minister said.

He was referring to the 10-day-long annual celebrations that mark the historic run-up to the victory of the country’s Islamic Revolution in 1979. The celebrations will start in late January next year.

The spaceport is expected to host its first launch by next March, Zarepour added.

The official said construction of the facility had begun under Ebrahim Raeisi’s administration, referring to Iran’s former president, who was martyred alongside his companions in a helicopter crash last month.

The spaceport, he concluded, would also serve as a tribute to the late chief executive.

Despite sanctions imposed by Western countries in recent years, Iran has taken giant strides in its civilian space program.

Back in February, Zarepour said Iran was among the world’s top-10 countries as far as manufacturing satellite and space launch vehicle was concerned.

“Our space launch vehicles can carry satellites weighing up to 200 kilograms and place them in orbit,” he said at the time.

The Islamic Republic planned to send heavier satellites into space in the next five years, the minister said, and hailed that the country had also managed to place its satellites in a Low Earth orbit, which was at a distance of 450 to 2,000 kilometers from the Earth.

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