Iran to have at least two satellites in orbit before 2023
Iran is sending at least two satellites into space by the end of the year, though it can send even more, with more information to be available later on.
Iran is set to launch at least two more satellites into orbit by the end of the year, with several others lined up for being put into orbit, Iranian Communications and Information Technology Minister Issa Zarepour said on Sunday.
Asked about the latest developments regarding the launch of Nahid-1 and Nahid-2 satellites, Zarepour told reporters that the two satellites were currently being prepared to be sent into orbit, adding that they would "hopefully" be launched by the end of the year.
Both the Nahid satellites are for telecommunications purposes. Unveiled back in 2015, the Nahid-1 was designed and built by the Iranian Space Research Institute. The Iran Space Agency spearheaded the project, work upon which was done at the Satellite Systems Research Institute of the Iran Space Research Institute.
Nahid-2, on the other hand, has various capabilities that distinguish it from other satellites; it is equipped with a thruster that enables it to perform maneuvers as well as orbital corrections, which marked a pivotal moment in the construction of low-altitude telecommunication systems.
Furthermore, Zarepour clarified that his ministry strives to have at least two satellites launched by the year-end when he was referring to the design and construction plan of research and operational satellites. He noted that further information on the matter would be released to the media at a later time.
Last month, the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force successfully conducted a test launch of the Ghaem 100 satellite carrier into earth's sub-orbit
IRGC Aerospace Force commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh attended the test launch alongside a group of officials of the Iranian armed forces.
The Ghaem 100 is a three-stage satellite launcher that uses solid fuel. It is capable of launching 80 kg satellites into orbit at an altitude of 500 kilometers from the earth's surface
The IRGC Aerospace Force launched Noor-2, another indigenously made satellite, using the domestically-built three-stage rocket propelled by a mix of solid and liquid fuels launcher Qassed (messenger) on March 8, 2022, and it is orbiting Earth at an altitude of 500 km.
Noor-2 was launched for reconnaissance, and it went into orbit 480 seconds after launch at a speed of 6.7 km/s.
Iran began its space program in the early 2000s, building its own satellite launcher on the Shahab-4 missile. The Semnan launch pad in the country's north was built in 2009.
Due to high costs, Iran's space program was suspended between 2015 and 2017. Two civilian test launches failed in 2019, but the Iranian military successfully launched two satellites into orbit in 2020 and March 2022.
Later on, the head of the Iranian Space Agency said his country was continuing the production of indigenous satellites, with plans to launch in March 2023 seven homegrown satellites.
The spacecraft planned to launch in 2023 include the Iranian Nahid, Pars-1, and Zafar satellites, which Tehran already has in its arsenal. The remaining four are still under construction.
The satellite series of Nahid, Pars-1, and Zafar are up there as the most modern Iranian spacecraft. They were designed for telecommunication purposes and for measuring radiation in space.