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Iran to put Martyr Soleimani satellite constellation into orbit in 2 years: Official

The illustrative picture shows a virtual network of telecommunication satellites around the Earth.

Iran’s first satellite system project named after top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani will be put into orbit within the next two years, according to the head of the Iranian Space Agency (ISA).

Hossein Salariyeh said on Tuesday that his agency, in line with efforts to provide space station services in the field of communications especially the Internet of Things (IoT), has drawn up the technical specifications of the first indigenous narrowband telecommunication satellite and invited relevant knowledge-based companies to contribute their share to the project.

“In the first phase of the bidding process of this ambitious project, qualified and eligible companies and consortia were identified; and the winner of the tender, which is a consortium comprising of private and public firms, was selected in the second phase,” the official said.

Salariyeh went on to say that the contract for the Martyr Soleimani satellite project has been negotiated and concluded, emphasizing that a contract for the design, construction, delivery, test and launch of the telecommunication project has been finalized between the ISA and a domestic consortium.

The senior Iranian space official further said that the satellite system project is gradually being built, and will be put into orbit within the next two years as several domestically-developed satellites are already in line to be blasted off into space.

“Martyr Soleimani satellite constellation will initially provide narrowband IoT services, meaning it will mostly collect data from sensors on the ground and transmit it to a reference station. God willing, the number and capabilities of involved satellites will grow later on,” Salariyeh said.

He added, “Currently, a specific bandwidth has been defined for the system, which will increase as newer models of satellites will be manufactured in the future. This means that the satellites will be equipped with newer and more advanced payloads.”

The ISA chief noted that the Martyr Soleimani satellite constellation will be placed in a low Earth orbit (LEO), hailing the project as the first of its kind in Iran and even the Muslim world.

The system has been developed entirely by Iranian specialists and is currently under construction. It will provide excellent services to state institutions, private companies, and ordinary people, Salariyeh said.

Despite sanctions imposed by Western countries in recent years, Iran has managed to take giant strides in the civilian space program. 

The country is among the world’s top 10 countries capable of developing and launching satellites.

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