Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says Tehran is interested in enhancing cooperation with Moscow in the field of space science and technology. In an exclusive interview with the state-run Voice of Russia radio station on Thursday, Salehi said Iran’s space program is already well underway. The top Iranian diplomat added that in order to become a leading space power in the Muslim world, Iran places great significance on its space program. He added that Iran’s technological capabilities in manufacturing satellites are increasing, noting that Tehran has already launched five satellites into orbit.
Salehi stated that the first Iranian satellite, Sina-1, was built and launched for Iran by Russia in 2005, noting that another satellite has been designed and manufactured jointly by Chinese and Iranian space experts.The foreign minister said Iran has become self-sufficient in manufacturing satellites over the past 10 years, but it still needs advanced space rockets to put its satellites into the orbit. On January 28, Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said the successful mission of Pishgam (Pioneer) spacecraft, which successfully carried a monkey into the space, is the first step for Iran towards sending humans into the space. Iran launched its first indigenous satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009. The country also sent its first bio-capsule containing living creatures into the space in February 2010, using the indigenous Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) carrier. The country is one of the 24 founding members of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which was set up in 1959. MP/HGH/SS