by Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) Dec 25, 2010
Iran will launch a reconnaissance satellite dubbed the "Fajr" in the next few months, Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said in a report Saturday by the official IRNA news agency.
Vahidi said the Islamic republic would also put into space around the same time another satellite, the Rasad 1 (Observation), whose launch was originally scheduled for August 2010.
Iran is "building different satellites and by end of the (Iranian) year (March 2011), the Fajr and Rasad satellites will be launched into space," the minister was quoted as saying.
The news agency reported that Fajr (Dawn) was a "reconnaissance satellite" that would operate on solar energy.
"These satellites are different from the previous models. They have better fuel systems and can stay in space for a longer time," Vahidi said.
Vahidi said he expected Rasad 1 to be delivered to the communication ministry and launched during the 32nd anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution which falls on February 11, 2011.
In February 2009, Iran launched its first home-built satellite, the Omid (Hope).
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