Monday, August 18, 2008

Iran launches first home-made satellite

safir-omid1.jpg

Alalam Network - Iran successfully launched its first satellite carrier named "Safir Omid" to space on Sunday.

"Safir Omid" has completely been designed and manufactured by Iranian scientists and experts and the main mission defined for it is to put Omid satellite into orbit.

"Safir Omid" is 22 meter in length, 1.25 meter in diameter, and 26 tons in weight.

The ability to launch satellites into orbit indicates progress in the Islamic republic's missile technology.
In February Tehran successfully launched the Explorer-1 research rocket, which is reportedly capable of carrying a satellite into orbit, and unveiled the country's first domestically built satellite, named Omid, or Hope.

"President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad was at the launch of the carrier from Iran's space station," government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham said.

President Ahmadinejad termed the launching a great technological achievement for the Iranian nation.

Iran has said it wants to put its own satellites into orbit to monitor natural disasters in the earthquake-prone nation and improve its telecommunications.

Iran has long held a goal of developing a space program. It hopes to launch four more satellites by 2010, the government has said.

In 2005, it launched its first commercial satellite on a Russian rocket in a joint project with Moscow, which appears to be the main partner in transferring space technology to Iran.

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