Tuesday Jan 03, 201205:02 PM GMT
'Iran to unveil Observation satellite'
Sat Feb 5, 2011 5:0PM
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Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi
Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi says two domestically-manufactured satellites will be unveiled during the Ten Days of Dawn celebrations.

“The two satellites, Fajr (Dawn) and Rasad (Observation) will be unveiled during the Ten Days of Dawn celebrations,” Vahidi said on Saturday, but did not provide an exact date.

“The launch date of these satellites will be announced soon,” Mehr News Agency quoted Vahidi as saying.

Fajr is the first satellite with the ability to change from the elliptical orbit of 300-450 kilometers to a circular orbit of 450 kilometers which increases the life expectancy of the satellite by one year and a half.

The images taken by Rasad, which is the country's first satellite for photography and carries remote measuring equipment, would be used in meteorology and identifying sea borders.

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

Iran also launched its first domestically produced satellite, Omid (hope), into orbit in 2009.

To date, only eight countries have put domestically-made satellites into orbit. Tehran also plans to send its first astronaut into space by 2021.

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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