Iran's Defense Ministry announced today that it will launch its indigenous Fajr (Dawn) satellite into orbit in June. The reconnaissance satellite is powered by solar energy. Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi called the planned launch as yet another technological step forward for the country’s space program.
The Fajr satellite will be sent up on board an upgraded version of Safir (Ambassador) rocket. It will be placed in elliptical orbit of 400 km in radius, and will remain in space for a year and a half.
Iran launched its first indigenous satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009 (pictured above). In June 2011, Iran put the 15.3-kilogram Rasad (Observation) orbiter in space. Rasad's mission was to take images of the Earth and transmit them along with telemetry information to the ground stations.
Iran also launched Navid-e Elm-o Sanat (Harbinger of Science and Industry), a telecom, measurement and scientific satellite into orbit last February. The country plans to launch its first manned mission to space by 2019.
File Photo: Omid (Hope) Satellite being sent into orbit on board Safir (Ambassador) rocket in 2009. Fars/Press TV Photo.