0736 GMT March 19, 2019
Praising Iran’s progress in the space industry, the ICT minister said, “Soon we will have good news for the people,” adding that “Dousti Satellite is ready to be launched and we are waiting for the final say of the Defense Ministry to put it into orbit,” the minister said.
Addressing an inauguration ceremony in the ICT Park in the northeastern city of Mashhad on Monday, Jahromi said the necessary tests on the satellite have been successfully carried out, IRNA reported.
“Dousti” is a micro-class 52-kilogram satellite developed by experts of Sharif University of Technology.
It is a remote-sensing satellite, which will orbit the Earth at an altitude of between 250km and 310km, commonly known as Low Earth Orbit.
In recent years, Iran has made great headway in space technology thanks to efforts made by local scientists.
The country has stressed the peaceful nature of its space program, denying there is any connection between its satellite launches and the national missile defense program.
The remarks by Azari Jahromi came on the occasion of the National Space Technology Day on Sunday, Press TV reported.
Addressing a ceremony in Tehran, he dismissed the West attributing military aspects to Iran’s civil space program, including its satellite launches.
The minister said two international organizations have monitored Iran’s space program and confirmed its peaceful nature.
He said Iran is using space technology to improve the lives of its citizens and other people across the board. In this regard, the country regards sanctions not a threat, but an opportunity for development, he added.
As an example, the minister cited the satellite Mesbah which Iran built in collaboration with Italy's Carlo Gavazzi Space SpA in 1998 but which took more than 10 years to launch by Europe.
Iran’s space industry is facing US sanctions but the Islamic Republic has managed to overcome them by relying on domestic capabilities and capacities, Azari Jahromi said.
The US, he said, is trying to disrupt the program, while the Europeans are refusing to cooperate with Iran in the field.
Iran launched its first homemade satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009. It also sent the first Iranian bio-capsule containing living creatures into space in February 2010, using a Kavoshgar (Explorer) carrier.
In February 2015, Iran placed Fajr (Dawn) into orbit, which was capable of taking and transmitting high-quality photos.
Last month, the country launched Payam (Message) into space at an altitude of 500 kilometers (310 miles) for imaging and communications purposes.
According to officials, the satellite performed without fault but the rocket which was carrying it did not reach enough speed in the third stage, falling short of putting Payam into orbit.