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Iran Says It Will Launch Three Satellites This Year

Image of Nahid-1 telecommunication satellite published by media in Iran.
Image of Nahid-1 telecommunication satellite published by media in Iran.

Iran is set to complete the production of three "homegrown satellites" by the yearend, the Islamic Republic Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Morteza Barari says.

Barari, who is also the head of the Iranian Space Agency (ISA), noted that Tehran was going to use the satellites in different domains, including the naval field, and during emergencies.

A week ago, Barari had named the satellites as "Pars1", "Zafar" (Victory) and "Nahid" (Persian for Venus), the state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) reported on Monday.

"Two of the three satellites, Pars1 and Zafar, are remote-controlled while 'Nahid' is a telecommunications satellite," Barari maintained.

Furthermore, "Zafar and Pars 1 sensing satellites enjoy resolutions of 22.5m and 15m respectively," Barari said, adding, "We are trying to build a sensing satellite with the resolution of 1m by 2025."

The 90-kg satellite, Zafar, is equipped with four color cameras with eighty-meter resolution and the equipment has an average lifespan of eighteen months.

On January 15, 2019, Iran had also carried out one of at least two satellite launches it planned despite criticism from the United States, but the satellite failed to reach orbit.

The rocket carrying the "Payam" (Persian for Message) satellite failed to reach the "necessary speed" in the third stage of its launch, Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi admitted at the time.

Azari Jahromi also said the rocket had successfully passed its first and second stages before developing problems in the third. He didn't elaborate on the cause of the rocket's failure but promised that Iranian scientists would carry on their "good job."

The Islamic Republic tried for the third time to launch Nahid satellite on August 29 but failed after an explosion at a rocket launch pad at the Imam Khomeini Space Centre (IKSC) in Iran's Semnan province.

Less than a week after the explosion, on September 3 Washington imposed sanctions on Iran's space agency (ISA) for the first time, accusing it of developing ballistic missiles under the cover of a civilian program.

Tehran has repeatedly insisted its space program is solely for non-military purposes. However, the program is directly under the control of Iran's defense ministry.