Iran to establish national satellite launch base
Fri Feb 3, 2012 6:3AM GMT
Head of Iran's Space Agency (ISA) says the Islamic Republic plans to establish a national satellite launch base with the cooperation of the country's Defense Ministry.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered the cabinet to review and ratify the plan and the required budget has been allocated to this end, Hamid Fazeli said on Thursday.
Fazeli added that the southeastern region of the country is the safest place to establish the base, citing it is adjacent to the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean and it has a low population.
Earlier in January, Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said Tehran plans to launch a satellite into space during the Ten Days of Dawn (February 1-10) celebrations, marking the 33th anniversary of the 1978 victory of Iran's Islamic Revolution.
On November 12, Vahidi announced that Iran is set to launch into space three domestically manufactured satellites dubbed Fajr (Dawn), Navid (Harbinger) and Tolou (Rise) in the course of the current and the next Iranian calendar years.
The current Iranian calendar year ends on March 19.
Iran's aerospace officials had previously spoken of the 2012 launch of Zafar (Triumph) -- another satellite that weighs 90 kilograms and is scheduled to revolve around the globe in an elliptical orbit of 500 kilometers.
Iran launched its first domestically-produced satellite Omid (Hope) in 2009, an endeavor which made it the ninth country having the capability to launch satellites.
Iran is one of the 24 founding members of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of the Outer Space, which was established in 1959.
Tehran also plans to launch the country's first manned mission into space by 2019.http://www.presstv.ir/detail/224597.html