|Iransat 3 to be sent into space in six years||
TEHRAN – Iran’s first communications satellite, named the Iransat 3, will be launched into space in six years, Director of Iran Space Agency Hamid Fazeli announced on Tuesday.
The satellite, which will weigh 250 kilograms, will be sent into a geostationary orbit using a domestically manufactured launcher to transmit radio and television broadcasts and provide telecommunications and internet services, Fazeli said.
A geostationary orbit is a circular orbit 35,786 kilometers above the Earth’s equator and following the direction of the Earth’s rotation. An object in such an orbit has an orbital period equal to the Earth’s rotational period, and thus appears motionless, at a fixed position in the sky, to ground observers. Communications satellites and weather satellites are often given geostationary orbits, so that the satellite antennas that communicate with them do not have to move to track them.
Fazeli also said that the project to build the Iransat 3 would begin in the next Iranian calendar year, which starts on March 21.
He added that three satellites, named the Iransat 1, the Iransat 2, and the Nahid, would be put into space in preparation for the launch of the Iransat 3 satellite.
Iran launched its first satellite, called the Omid (Hope), in February 2009. The Rasad (Observation) satellite was also sent into orbit in June 2011.
In February, 2012, Iran successfully put its third domestically manufactured satellite, named the Navid (Promise), into orbit. On February 8, 2012, Iran received the first image sent by the Navid satellite.
As part of its space program, Iran also plans to launch the Fajr (Dawn) satellite in the near future.
The Fajr, which is a reconnaissance satellite powered by solar energy, will be Iran’s first new-generation satellite to be sent into space.
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