March 15, 2010

Iran to Send Heavier Satellites to Higher Orbits in 2 Years

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian aerospace official announced here in Tehran on Monday that President Ahmadinejad's declaration about sending heavier homemade satellites into the higher orbits will come into effect in two years. "The promise made by the president on launching heavier satellites into the higher altitudes than what was done on February 3 will come into practice in less than two years," Managing Director of Iran's Air Industries Organization Manouchehr Manteqi told FNA.

Referring to Iran's achievements in the field of aerospace in recent years, Manteqi reiterated that if Iran continues its present trend of progress in the next few years, it will be able to send scientists and astronauts into space within 10 years.

The first biocapsule of living creatures from Iran was sent into the space on the back of Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) carrier on February 3. The capsule has the ability to send back empirical data to studying the living creatures' status in the space.

Also in February, Iran unveiled a new generation of home-made satellites and another newly-developed satellite carrier called Simorgh (Phoenix, a legendary bird in Persian stories).

The satellite carrier utilizes a new generation of liquid-fuel engines to put satellites in orbit.

The milk-bottle shaped rocket, emblazoned in blue with the words "Satellite Carrier Simorgh," is equipped to carry a 60-kilogram (132-pound) satellite 500 kilometers (310 miles) into orbit.

The 27-meter (90-foot) tall multi-stage rocket weighs 85 tons and its liquid fuel propulsion system has a thrust of up to 143 tons. The rocket uses a cluster of four engines each having a thrust of 32 tons plus a control engine with a thrust of 15 tons.

Experts believe that the engine could be used in future for carrying 700-kilogram (1540-pound) satellites 1000 kilometers (620 miles) into orbit.

Simorgh is different from Iran's first home-made satellite carrier Safir (Ambassador) - which carried Iran's Omid (Hope) satellite - both in length and diameter and has been designed to carry the new generation of Iranian satellites into the orbit.

Iranian president also on February 3 announced Tehran's plans for sending scientists and astronauts into space in future.

"With God's help, (Iranian) scientists will be sent into the space and they will observe the universe from there," the Iranian president said at a ceremony to unveil several national achievements, specially in the field of aerospace.

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