Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Iranian sattelite

Iran To Launch First Space Satellite In 2006


Tehran (AFP) Jul 21, 2005
Iran intends to launch its first satellite into space in 2006, and its sole purpose is to be for telecommunications, Iranian newspapers reported Thursday.

"This is the first telecommunications satellite, code-named Mesbah (Lantern), to be launched this year, among the five approved to be built," Deputy Communication Minister Hasan Shafti was quoted as saying.

"This satellite was designed and built with Italian cooperation," he added.

It was to orbit at an altitude of 900 kilometers (about 560 miles).

The launch of the 60 kilogram (132 pounds) cube-shaped Mesbah satellite was delayed.

Iranian officials had said in September 2004 that it would launch in April 2005, but now they say it will launch by the end of the current Iranian year, ending March 2006.

Press reports in 2004 had said: "The satellite will be used to identify natural resources, control the electrical and energy network (gas and oil), and later on can be used by communications and crisis management."

Shafti said that out of the five satellites planned for construction, three will be launched into space over the next three years.

The second Iranian satellite is multipurpose and bigger than Mesbah, and is to be built by Iran, China and Thailand, he said.

"The third one, code-named Zohre (Venus), is the biggest national telecommunications satellite and it will be built with Russian cooperation in three years time," Shafti added.

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