Thursday Mar 01, 201201:01 PM GMT
Iran to put new satellite into orbit
Iran successfully launched new 'Navid-e Elm-o Sanat' satellite into orbit on February 3, 2012.
Thu Mar 1, 2012 12:12PM
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Iran is planning to launch its indigenous Fajr satellite into orbit in the upcoming months, marking a “remarkable breakthrough” for the country’s space technology, the head of Iran Space Agency (ISA) says.

The Fajr satellite, which currently undergoes its preparatory phase, will be put into space in the first few months of the next Persian calendar year (starting on March 20), said Hamid Fazeli on Wednesday.

The upcoming launch of Fajr heralds a “remarkable breakthrough” for Iran’s space technology, as the event marks the transition of Iran’s satellite technology from research orbiters to practical and operational satellites, Fazeli pointed out.

Fajr was slated to be launched before the end of the current Iranian year (ending on March 19); however, the plan was postponed to the following year due to some pilot tests, he noted.

The 60-kilogram satellite, which is powered by solar cells, will circle the Earth at an altitude of about 400 kilometers and will stay in orbit for a period of one and a half years.

The satellite will be used to facilitate activities related to agriculture, conservation of natural resources and forests, management of natural disasters and other data collection purposes, the ISA chief said.

Earlier on February 3, Iran successfully launched its indigenous Navid-e Elm-o Sanat satellite into orbit. It is a telecom, measurement and scientific satellite whose records could be used in a wide range of fields.

Iran launched its first indigenous satellite, Omid (hope), into orbit in 2009.

The Omid data-processing satellite was designed to orbit the Earth 15 times every 24 hours and transmit data via two frequency bands and eight antennas to an Iranian space station.

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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