Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi says the Islamic Republic will soon inaugurate a new space launch center, adding that the country also plans to put more indigenous satellites into orbit within the next few weeks.Vahidi told Mehr news agency on Wednesday that the Imam Khomeini Satellite Base will be launched by the end of the term of the tenth administration, which is less than two months. He also expressed hope that several more space projects will be launched within the same period.
“Iran has already managed to build and launch a space center but this time, this space center is designed and built to launch new and heavier carriers, and has been named after[late founder of Islamic Republic] Imam Khomeini, ” he said.According to the Iranian minister, satellites made by Iran and other regional and Muslims countries will be put into orbit from the Imam Khomeini space center in the near future. Vahidi had said in June 2012 that the first indigenous Iranian satellite to be launched from the new center will be the Tolou (Rise), which would be launched via Simorgh (Phoenix) carrier. Iran successfully launched its first indigenous data-processing satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009. As part of a plan to develop its space program, Iran successfully launched its second satellite, dubbed Rassad (Observation), into orbit in June 2011. Rassad’s mission was to take images of the Earth and transmit them along with telemetry information to ground stations. Iran also launched its indigenous Navid-e Elm-o Sanat (Harbinger of Science and Industry) satellite into orbit in February 2012. The records made by the telecom, measurement and scientific satellite were used in a wide range of fields. Iran is one of the 24 founding members of the United Nations' Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which was set up in 1959.