Iran to unveil recent space-race accomplishments this week

Ahram Online , Monday 18 Feb 2013

Islamic republic's Amir Kabir University of Technology will reveal Iran's latest achievements in aerospace at upcoming conference, Iranian news agency reports

A still image from an undated video released by Iran’s state-run English language Press TV shows a monkey that was launched into space, 28 January 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

The Amir Kabir University of Technology will unveil Iran's two latest aerospace achievements this week, Tehran's Fars News Agency (FNA) reported on Monday.

The agency pointed out that Aerodynamics and propellers, aviation management, flight dynamics and control, space science and technology, aerospace structures and aviation management would be among the discussed topics during the Iranian Aerospace Society's 12th Conference.  

"Head of Iran's Space Agency (ISA) Hamid Fazeli, Iranian Deputy Defense Minister and Head of Iran's Aerospace Organization General Mehdi Farahi, Managing-Director of the Iranian Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO) Manouchehr Manteqi, and Chancellor of Amir Kabir University of Technology Alireza Rahayee will attend the unveiling ceremony," FNA said.  

Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced on 28 January that Tehran had successfully sent a monkey into orbit, paving the way for a manned space flight by 2020.

Arabic-language channel Al-Alam and other Iranian news agencies said the monkey returned alive after travelling in a capsule to an altitude of 120 kilometres (75 miles) for a sub-orbital flight.

"This success is the first step towards man conquering space and paves the way for other moves," AFP quoted General Vahidi as saying. But he added that the process of putting a human into space would be a lengthy one.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad expressed his readiness in early February "to be the first man in space."

"Our youth are determined to send a man into space within the next four, five years, and I'm sure that will happen," he said during a ceremony in Tehran where two new Iranian-made satellites were unveiled, according to the ISNA news agency.

"I'm ready to be the first Iranian to be sacrificed by the scientists of my country and go into space, even though I know there are a lot of candidates," Ahmadinejad quipped.

On the same day, Iran unveiled two small satellites called "Nahid" and "Zohreh" ('Venus' in Farsi and Arabic, respectively).

Nahid, an observation satellite equipped with solar panels, is intended to orbit at an altitude of between 250 and 370 kilometres (155 to 230 miles). Iran has put three other small satellites into orbit since 2009.

Zohreh is a geostationary communications satellite that will be placed at an altitude of 36,000 kilometres (22,370 miles), something Iran has never tried before; however, no date for launching was specified.

The Iranian space programme fans Western fears of an Iran-denied linkage with the Islamic republic's nuclear endeavours. Western capitals have imposed an almost total embargo on the export of nuclear and space technology to Iran since 2007 through the UN Security Council.  

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