Iran’s telecommunications minister has tweeted that two satellites, which have completed their tests were sent to a space facility January 19, to soon complete their launch process.
Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said in his tweet that Zafar (Victory) 1 and 2 satellites and their launch vehicles represent an important research step for Iran. He did not mention a possible date for the launch.
Iran tried twice last year to launch satellites into space, but the attempts failed due to malfunctioning rockets.
In October 2019, Jahromi’s deputy Morteza Barari, who is also the head of the Iranian Space Agency (ISA), announced that Tehran was going to launch three “homegrown satellites” by the end of the year to use for different purposes, including the naval activities and during emergencies.
The 90-kg satellite, Zafar, is known to be equipped with four color cameras with eighty-meter resolution and the equipment has an average lifespan of eighteen months.
Iran’s last attempt to launch a satellite was on August 29, 2019 but the rocket exploded on the launch pad at the Imam Khomeini Space Center 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.