An Iranian official has announced that the country is set to launch a high resolution student satellite tasked with taking images of the earth.
Head of the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) Hamid Fazeli said the satellite is part of a project by Tehran’s Sharif University of Technology and will be launched in the current Iranian calendar year (started March 2012) via the indigenous Safir (Ambassador) B-1 satellite carrier.
He added that the satellite’s high precision equipment and 12.5-meter resolution capability make it very suitable for taking photographs.
Fazeli said more than 100 students, alumni and faculty members have contributed to the design and construction of the microsatellite, which weighs 50 kg and fits in a 40 x 40 x 40 cm cube.
Iran is also set to launch its indigenous Fajr (Dawn) satellite, which is said to be for reconnaissance purposes powered by solar energy, in June.
The Islamic Republic launched its first indigenous satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009. The country also sent its first biocapsule of living creatures into space in February 2010, using the indigenous Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) carrier.
Moreover, in June 2011, Iran put the 15.3-kilogram Rasad (Observation) orbiter in space. Rasad’s mission was to take images of the Earth and transmit them along with telemetry information to the ground stations.
Iran also launched Navid-e Elm-o Sanat (Harbinger of Science and Industry), an indigenous telecom, measurement and scientific satellite, into orbit on February 3, 2012.
Iran is one of the 24 founding members of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which was set up in 1959.
Tehran also plans to launch the country’s first manned mission to space by 2019.
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