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Iran to send new satellite into space
by Staff Writers
Tehran (XNA) Aug 10, 2011

Rassad-1 (Observation-1) could revolve 15 times around the Earth every 24 hours with a two-month life cycle.

Chancellor of Iran's Sharif University Reza Roustazad said Monday that Iran plans to launch a new domestically-manufactured satellite dubbed Sharif in the near future, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

"Industrial Sharif University's satellite will be the last satellite designed by university students, which will be launched into space," Roustazad was quoted as saying.

The Sharif satellite, described by officials as the country's best, will be sent into space when it is capable of orbiting 36, 000 kilometers above the Earth's surface, he said.

The reason why Iran's satellites cannot stay in space for a long time is that they cannot orbit the Earth in an altitude upper than 36,000 kilometers above the Earth's surface, he said according to the report.

Efforts should be made to increase the launch power of satellites in order to let it stay longer in space, he added.

In July, Iran announced that it successfully launched its Rassad-1 satellite into space by the Safir rocket and put into orbit 260 kilometers above the Earth.

Rassad-1 (Observation-1) could revolve 15 times around the Earth every 24 hours with a two-month life cycle.

Iran, which has outlined an ambitious space programme in the face of Western concerns, put a satellite into orbit in 2009 and sent small animals into space in 2010.

Western powers fear that Tehran could develop a missile capability under cover of its space programme which could be used to deliver nuclear warheads.

Iran denied that it has any ambition to develop an atomic bomb and insisted that both its space and nuclear programmes are entirely peaceful.

Originally scheduled to launch in August 2010, Rassad was constructed by Malek Ashtar University in Tehran, which is linked to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.

In February, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled four new prototypes of home-built satellites that Iran hopes to launch before March 2012.

Iran in February unveiled what it said prototypes of four new home-built satellites, Rassad, Fajr (Dawn), Zafar (Victory) and Amir Kabir-1 and also the engines of a Safir-B1 (Messenger-B1) rocket, news reports said.

The country does not have an operational satellite of its own but Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced in December that two satellites, Fajr and Rassad-1, would be launched by the end of the current Iranian year to March 20.

Tehran says it aims to send an Iranian into space by 2020.

Fajr is a reconnaissance satellite constructed by the defence ministry, while Amir Kabir-1, details of which were unavailable, is built by Tehran's Amir Kabir university.

Iranian media reports have said the Safir-B1 rocket can carry a satellite weighing 50 kilograms into an elliptical orbit of 300 to 450 kilometers.


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