Iran successfully launches its Rasad-1 satellite into space

PanARMENIAN.Net - Iran successfully launched its Rasad-1 satellite into space on Wednesday, June 15, the country's Arabic-language television channel Al-Alam said.

"It was launched by the Safir rocket and put into orbit 260 kilometers (163 miles) above the Earth," the television said. "It is capable of photographing the Earth."

According to AFP, the report said Rasad-1 (Observation-1) can revolve 15 times around the Earth every 24 hours, and that it has a two-month life cycle.

Originally scheduled to launch in August 2010, Rasad was constructed by Malek Ashtar University in Tehran, which is linked to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.

In February, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled four new prototypes of home-built satellites Iran hopes to launch before March 2012.

Iran in February unveiled what it said were prototypes of four new home-built satellites -- Rassad, Fajr (Dawn), Zafar (Victory) and Amir Kabir-1 and also the engines of a Safir-B1 (Ambassador-B1) rocket, news reports said.

The country does not have an operational satellite of its own but Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced in December that two satellites, Fajr and Rassad-1, would be launched by the end of the current Iranian year to March 20.

Tehran says it aims to send an Iranian into space by 2020.

Fajr is a reconnaissance satellite constructed by the defense ministry, while Amir Kabir-1, details of which were unavailable, is built by Tehran's Amir Kabir university.

Iranian media reports have said the Safir-B1 rocket can carry a satellite weighing 50 kilograms (110 pounds) into an elliptical orbit of 300 to 450 kilometers (185 to 280 miles).

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