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Iran sets up centre for satellite images

Iran: Iran opened its first centre to receive satellite images, a new stage in its space programme that coincides with celebrations marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution. According to Defence Minister, Ahmad Vahidi, equipments used in the centre have been manufactured by Iranian engineers.

Iran does not have an operational satellite of its own but announced in December, 2011, that it would launch two satellites — Fajr (Dawn) and Rasad-1 (Observation-1) by the end of the Iranian year in March 2011.

Meanwhile, Fars News Agency quoted Vahidi as saying that the Islamic republic would unveil on Monday four satellites built “entirely by Iranian engineers.” He said Tehran would also unveil a new rocket, Kavoshgar-4 (Explorer-4), and engines for a two-stage Safir Fajr rocket.

According to Vahidi, Iran will unveil two rockets during the anniversary celebrations: Kavoshgar-4 and Safir (Ambassador) 1-B. But Fars report did not specify if Safir Fajr was a new name for Safir 1-B or a different rocket.

On Sunday, IRNA reported that Vahidi said a launch date for the two satellites, Fajr and Rasad-1, was “not fixed” but they would be unveiled on Monday along with two others. In addition, Iranian media reports said last week that the Safir 1-B rocket can carry a satellite weighing 50 kilogrammes (110 pounds) into an elliptical orbit of 300 to 450 kilometres (185 to 280 miles).

The Kavoshgar-4 rocket can carry a payload up to 120 kilometres.

Source: Space Mart