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Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Iran’s Omid satellite launched into orbit
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN - Iran has successfully launched its first domestically-produced satellite into orbit.
The satellite, called Omid, or hope in Farsi, was launched late Monday after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave the order to proceed.
The satellite, intended for telecommunications and research activities, soon reached its orbit and made contact with ground stations.
Ahmadinejad announced on Tuesday that Iran has taken a significant step in its space program.
“Dear Iranians, your children have put the first indigenous satellite into orbit,” Ahmadinejad said after the launch, which occurred during the Ten-Day celebrations held to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
“With this launch, the Islamic Republic of Iran has officially achieved a presence in space,” he said.
The launch was intended to be a message of peace and friendship to the world, Ahmadinejad stated.
The satellite is to orbit at an altitude of between 155 and 250 miles (250 and 400 kilometers). It was taken into orbit by a Safir-2, or Ambassador-2, rocket, which was first tested in August, and has a range of 155 miles (250 kilometers).
The satellite is designed to circle the earth 15 times during every 24-hour period and send reports to the space center in Iran. It has two frequency bands and eight antennas for transmitting data.
Ahmadinejad said Iran has achieved the ability to launch satellites into orbit and will now seek to increase the capacity of its satellite-carrier rockets to carry more weight.
In 2005, Iran launched its first commercial satellite on a Russian rocket in a joint project with Moscow. Also in 2005, the government said it had allocated $500 million for space projects over the next five years.
Iranian officials first started developing the satellite, which weighs 60 pounds (27 kilograms), in 2006.
Iran has said it wants to put its own satellites into orbit to monitor natural disasters in the earthquake-prone nation and improve its telecommunications.
Iran hopes to launch three more satellites by 2010, the government has said.
Ahmadinejad said the satellite carried a message of “peace and brotherhood” to the world and dismissed Western accusations that Iran’s space program had military goals, saying, “The world rejects such old talk.”
“We have a divine view of technology unlike the hegemonistic powers of the world, which have satanic views,” he explained.
Ahmadinejad later addressed the 22nd International Khwarizmi Festival in Tehran.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s success in sending a satellite into space is the result of the Supreme Leader’s insistence on bravery in innovation and creativity,” he said.
“The Iranian nation, especially since the Islamic Revolution, has begun speedy and constructive development in scientific areas… Of course, Iranian scientists are seeking a science which is the source of peace and would serve brotherhood and progress.”