Iran’s Minister of information and communications technology (ICT) has announced preparation to launch Nahid 1 telecommunication satellite and that two other satellites are being assembled.
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“With regard to satellite design and manufacture, we have completed Nahid 1 telecommunication satellite, which is ready for launch, and Pars 2 satellite is being assembled. Moreover, the engineering model of Nahid 2 satellite has been completed, and the construction process of its flight and qualification model are underway,” Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi was quoted by Fars News Agency as making the announcement at Iran’s Space Research Center on Monday.
The Iranian ICT minister then explained about design and manufacture of space engines, saying that testing Arash space engine is another major achievement of the Space Research Center.
“The most important issue in the field of aerospace is that all these successes were achieved in a situation where the country, and [Iran’s] aerospace industries in particular, are under sanctions and gaining access to such technology has not been possible in any way,” Azari Jahromi noted.
The minister reaffirmed that “Iran has been so far conducting major activities in the field of aerospace and has managed to master the full cycle of space technology.
He noted that the country's Space Research Center has been among those Iranian institutions, which have played a prominent part in the development of this technology.”
Last April, President of Iran's Space Research Center Hossein Samimi said Nahid 1 and Nahid 2 telecommunication satellites besides Pars 1 remote sensing satellite would be ready for launch by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2020).
Samimi said at the time that Nahid 1 satellite will reportedly orbit the Earth at an altitude of between 250 and 310 kilometers, commonly known as the Low Earth Orbit, and Nahid 2 is to focus on the development and testing of basic technologies needed for building geostationary communication satellites with an operational life of two years.
Iran has made major achievements in space technology and satellite construction over the past years.
Iran launched its first locally-built satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009.
The country also sent its first bio-capsule containing living creatures into space in February 2010, using Kavoshgar (Explorer)-3 carrier.
In February 2015, Iran placed its domestically-made Fajr (Dawn) satellite into orbit, which is capable of taking and transmitting high-quality photos to stations on Earth.
In January 2019, Iran launched its Payam (Message) satellite into space with an aim to collect data on environmental change. However, technical problems that occurred during the final stage of the launch prevented the spacecraft from reaching orbit.
The launch of its carrier rocket was preceded by warnings from Washington, which claimed Iran’s space rocket launches would violate a 2015 UN Security Council resolution, because they use ballistic missile technology.
Resolution 2231 merely "calls on" Iran “to refrain from any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”
Iran maintains it has no intention of acquiring nuclear weapons, and says its aerospace activities are peaceful and do not violate the Security Council resolution.