Ahmadinejad hopes Iran's own astronauts into space 'soon' / PHOTO

Iran hailed the successful launch of a home-built satellite on Wednesday, hoping it can send its own astronauts into space soon.

Ahmadinejad hopes Iran's own astronauts into space 'soon' / PHOTO

Iran hailed the successful launch of a home-built satellite on Wednesday, hoping it can send its own astronauts into space soon.

Iran test-fired a domestically made satellite-carrier rocket carrying live animals on Wednesday.

State television's website said it was carrying "live animals" -- a rat, turtles and worms.


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"Iran successfully launches home-built Kavoshgar-3 satellite rocket," English-language television station Press TV said.

"The capsule has the ability to send back empirical data," the website said.

State television showed footage of the rocket being fired from a desert launchpad leaving behind a thick plume of smoke.

A few minutes later the grainy images showed the capsule detaching from the rocket and spinning in orbit.


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State television also carried pictures of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiling another home-built satellite rocket dubbed the Simorgh.

The rocket would transfer electronic data and live footage back to earth, it said.

"Huge breakthrough"

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the satellite launch was a huge breakthrough which help break the global domineering system.

The Islamic Republic hoped to send astronauts into space soon, he said, speaking at a ceremony unveiling new satellite and space technoloy.


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"It is a great job that living organisms can be sent into space, we do experiments on them and they return to earth," the Iranian president said.

The milk-bottle shaped rocket, emblazoned in blue with the words "Satellite Carrier Simorgh," is equipped to carry a 100-kilogramme (220-pound) satellite 500 kilometres (310 miles) into orbit, the television report said.

The 27-metre (90 foot) tall multi-stage rocket weighs 85 tonnes and its liquid fuel propulsion system has a thrust of up to 100 tonnes, the report added.

"We are going to send a satellite 500 kilometres (310 miles) up. The next steps are 700 and 1,000 kilometres. Everyone knows that reaching the 1,000 kilometre orbit allows you to reach all orbits."

Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi revealed the details of three new satellite prototypes -- the Toloo (Dawn), Navid (Good News), and Mesbah-2 (Lantern).

"Toloo is a satellite used for remote survey and weighs 100 kilogrammes (220 pounds). It is planned to be placed in 500 kilometre (310 mile) orbit for three years," Vahidi said.

"The Simorgh (Phoenix) rocket is able to place a satellite weighing 100 kilos in 500 kilometre orbit," Vahidi said, adding that a further refinement of the same design would allow satellites to placed in 1,000 kilometre orbit.


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The satellite launch and the unveiling of the new prototypes came as Iran marked "Space Technology Day" as part of celebrations for the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

Iran launched its first home-built satellite, the Omid (Hope), in February last year to coincide with the 30th anniversary.

In 2008, Iran fired two rockets into space -- the Kavoshgar in February and the Kavoshgar 2 in November -- but neither was carrying any payload.

Iran said the Kavoshgar reached an altitude of 200 kilometres (125 miles) before falling back to earth.

Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday Iran was ready to send its enriched uranium abroad in exchange for nuclear fuel.


Agencies

Last Mod: 03 Şubat 2010, 16:28
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