IRAN - TEHRAN - The Islamic Republic of Iran has successfully orbited three homemade satellites in space with a minimum and maximum height of 450 km and 1,100 km above the Earth's surface, approaching the Geostationary Orbit (GEO), also known as geosynchronous orbit. This capability was achieved after years of testing.
Citing the IRNA news agency, the latest launch, which took place on Sunday (28/1/2024) using the Simorgh satellite carrier, reached the Earth's elliptical orbit, making it different from previous launches that placed satellites in space with a height of 400 to 750 km above the Earth's surface.
The launch on Sunday is considered a significant step by Iran, as it marks the country's first step towards the Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) and then accessing the GEO which has a height of about 36,000 km above the Earth's surface.
Iran is approaching the achievement of geostationary space orbit.
GTO is an elliptical orbit used to reach GEO. It has features that can be used to move satellites to other orbits such as GEO with the least amount of energy.
After the inauguration of President Ebrahim Raisi's government in August 2021, the Supreme Space Council of Iran resumed meetings after ten years. The meeting, led by the president, has approved a plan to reach GEO in the 1404th year of the Iranian calendar (starting in March 2025).
Iran's Minister of Information Technology and Communication, Issa Zarepour, said that for the first time, Simorgh simultaneously placed the Mahda satellite and two other research payloads into orbit, adding that the Mahda signal has been received.
The Mahda research satellite, Keyhan-2, and Hatef-1 were placed at a height between 450 and 1,100 kilometers above the Earth's surface on Sunday.
Last Year's Launch
Previously, Iran recorded an extraordinary achievement in the field of sensing technology. Iran marked another historical milestone in its space exploration efforts with the successful launch of the Nour 3 sensing satellite in September last year.
This satellite, aimed at enhancing the country's capabilities in research and management activities, was launched into orbit at a height of 450 kilometers from Earth.
The announcement was made through a social media post by Iran's Telecommunications Minister, Issa Zarepour, who reported the successful placement of Nour 3 into orbit. The launch was carried out by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force, using the domestically made Ghassed launch vehicle.
Zarepour congratulated the success in a Farsi post on Virasty, stating, "I congratulate this success to the people, those who work hard in the country's aerospace sector, and the experts in the IRGC Aerospace Force."
This successful launch is part of Iran's broader vision to expand its aerospace sector, utilizing satellite technology for various applications. These applications include agricultural land management and the implementation of research activities, demonstrating Iran's commitment to advancements in space exploration for peaceful purposes.
Along with the continued advancement of Iran's space program, the successful launch of the Nour 3 satellite strengthens this country's dedication to technological advancement and scientific exploration on the international stage.