Economy, Sci & Tech

Launching Satellites a Priority

Launching Satellites a PriorityLaunching Satellites a Priority

Research for launching satellites should be a budget priority in the Iranian Space Program, head of the Aerospace Research Institute of Iran said, adding that sending astronauts into space should be approved as a major national plan by  the Supreme Council of Space.

"Launching manned missions and sending astronauts into orbit are part of the Comprehensive National Aerospace Development Plan," Fathollah Omi said. He added that such projects should be seen as long-term goals requiring reasonable time and investment, Mehr News Agency reported.

The official said any space project, including manned missions, should be  cost-effective with its positive impact "felt in people's everyday life."

He stressed that launching satellites is a global necessity and would reinforce national authority, create new jobs, bring in advanced technologies and generate massive wealth.

Iran’s space program began in 2004 with the parliament’s approval. A founding member of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Iran launched its first domestically-made data-processing satellite, Omid in 2009.

Its second satellite, dubbed Rassad, was launched in June 2011, whose mission was to transmit images of the earth along with telemetry information to ground stations.

The country launched its third satellite, Navid-e Elm-o Sanat, in February 2012, with its fourth satellite, Fajr, successfully placed into orbit in February. The satellite can reportedly operate for 1.5 year while transmitting high-quality images to the stations on earth.