Iran plans to send astronauts into space using domestic technology

February 5, 2020 - 19:2

TEHRAN – Iran has taken the first step to send astronauts into space using space capsules which are projected to be manufactured over the next three years.

“We have ordered the Aerospace Research Institute to produce five space capsules on a 190-kilometer orbit,” Information and Communication Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi said.

“The capsule is expected to be utilized in the next three years which will be the first step to send Iranian astronauts into space,” he added, ILNA news agency reported on Wednesday.

The preliminary phase of work is almost over and the weight of the capsules will be about 1,700 kilograms, he noted.

This is the most important step after sending a satellite into orbit that will have a significant impact on the progress of space science in the country, he concluded.

An environmental research satellite, called Zafar, has been recently manufactured by Tehran’s University of Science and Technology, which will be sent into orbit within the next few days.

It weighs 113 kilograms and is capable of taking color photos and survey oil reserves, mines, forests, and natural lands.

Zafar satellite can also create land use maps, urban development monitoring maps, agricultural land boundary maps, and natural land and forest change maps, as well as monitor permanent and seasonal lake changes and identify post-disaster demolition in urban areas and upgrade structural maps (fault and folding identification).

Iran launched its first satellite, called Omid (literally meaning hope), in 2009. Rasad (literally meaning observation) satellite was also sent into orbit in 2011.

In 2012, Iran successfully put its third domestically manufactured satellite, named Navid (literally meaning promise), into orbit.

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