Iranian Telecommunications Minister Reza Taqipour expounds on the plans and preparations for a national satellite launch in the coming year.
“Iran has laid the foundation for the development of its aerospace industry in the past three to four years,” said Taqipour, describing the launch of a home-produced satellite, named Omid (Hope), in February 2009 as one such achievement.
The Omid data-processing satellite was launched into orbit allowing it to encircle the Earth 15 times per day. It transmits data via two frequency bands utilizing eight antennas to an Iranian space station.
Taqipour told the Fars News Agency on Friday that the country has no shortcomings in its domestic space program as Iranian scientists have managed to gain a firm grasp of satellite-related technology.
“We are currently carrying out a project which will see the design, production and launch of 5 to 6 satellites,” continued the Iranian Telecommunications Minister. “We hope to send one satellite into space in the first half of the coming year.”
Taqipour also touched on the country’s efforts to broaden technical and practical expertise in launching satellites from domestic launch pads.
“We now have only one launch pad in the country, so as you can imagine there are some limitations in that area,” he noted.
“However, we plan to build more launch pads and have even specified suitable locations in the country [from which] to send satellites into space,” he added.
After launching Omid, Tehran has unveiled three new satellites and a satellite carrier, Tolou, Mesbah II and Navid respectively.
Iran is one of the 24 founding members of the United Nations’ Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS), which was set up in 1959.