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Iranian Space Agency

Iranian Space Agency

Overview
The Iranian Space Agency (ISA, Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

: Sázmán e Fazái e Irán) is Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

's governmental space agency. Iran is an active participant in the Asian space race
Asian space race
Several Asian countries have national space programs, and they are considered to be competing with each other to achieve scientific and technological advancements in space. The media has occasionally called this competition the Asian space race. The exploration of Outer space is of strategic...

 and became an orbital-launch-capable nation in 2009. Iran is one of the 24 founding members of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space was established in 1958 as an ad hoc committee...

, which was set up in 1958.

ISA was established on 1 February 2004 according to the Article 9 of the Law for Tasks and Authorizations of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (Iran)
The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology established in 1908, is the Ministry of Information and Communication of the Islamic Republic of Iran...

 passed on 10 December 2003 by the Parliament of Iran.
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Encyclopedia
The Iranian Space Agency (ISA, Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

: Sázmán e Fazái e Irán) is Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

's governmental space agency. Iran is an active participant in the Asian space race
Asian space race
Several Asian countries have national space programs, and they are considered to be competing with each other to achieve scientific and technological advancements in space. The media has occasionally called this competition the Asian space race. The exploration of Outer space is of strategic...

 and became an orbital-launch-capable nation in 2009. Iran is one of the 24 founding members of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space was established in 1958 as an ad hoc committee...

, which was set up in 1958.

History


ISA was established on 1 February 2004 according to the Article 9 of the Law for Tasks and Authorizations of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (Iran)
The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology established in 1908, is the Ministry of Information and Communication of the Islamic Republic of Iran...

 passed on 10 December 2003 by the Parliament of Iran. Based on the approved statute ISA mandated to cover and support all the activities in Iran concerning the peaceful applications of space science and technology under the leadership of a Supreme Council of Space chaired by Iran’s President
President of Iran
The President of Iran is the highest popularly elected official in, and the head of government of the Islamic Republic of Iran; although subordinate to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who functions as the country's head of state...

.

The Council’s main goals included policy making for the application of space technologies aiming peaceful uses of outer space, manufacturing, launching and use of the national research satellites, approving the space related state and private sector programs, promoting the partnership of the private and cooperative sectors in efficient uses of space, identifying guidelines concerning the regional and international cooperation in space issues.

To follow and implement the strategies set by the Council, ISA affiliated with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in the form of an autonomous organization, was organized. The President of ISA held the position of the Vice-Minister of Communications and Information Technology and the secretariat of Supreme Council of Space at the same time.

Satellite launch vehicle


After 2000, Iran had acquired the necessary skills to begin initial production of the Shahab-3
Shahab-3
The Shahab-3 is a medium-range ballistic missile developed by Iran and based on the Nodong-1. The Shahab-3 has a range of ; a MRBM variant can now reach...

 rocket. This was followed by several modifications and improvements, leading to the test firing of an improved version (Shahab SLV) in late 2004, which was used to launch a completely indigenous Omid satellite. This was followed by several more modifications and improvements, leading to the test firing of the next generation, a (Shahab SLV) in late 2004, which was used to launch an additional Omid satellite.

Safir SLV


Iran has developed an expendable satellite launch vehicle named Safir SLV. Measuring 22 m in height with a core diameter of 1.25 m, with two liquid propellant stages, a single thrust chambered first stage and a two-thrust chambered, step-throttled second stage, the SLV has a lift off mass exceeding 26 tons. The first stage consists of a lengthened up-rated Shahab-3C. According to the technical documentation presented in the annual meeting of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs is an organization of the General Assembly charged with implementing the Assembly's outer space-related policies. It is located in the United Nations Office in Vienna. The Office implements the Program on Space Applications and maintains the...

 it is two-stage rocket with all liquid propellant engines. The first stage is capable of carrying the payload to the maximum altitude of 68 kilometer. It is designed to place a lightweight (50–100 kg) payload into a 500 km LEO
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

. The lighter sub-orbital all-liquid two-stage version is known as Kavoshgar. It is the civilian version derived from one of at least four known military ASAT
ASAT
ASAT can mean:* Anti-satellite weapon* The ASM-135 ASAT, an air-launched anti-satellite multi stage missile* aspartate transaminase, an enzyme in amino acid metabolism*Advanced Subsonic Aerial Target A UAV used by the British Army for AA training....

 systems still in development, thus the Safir SLV is 40% taller.

Safir-2B


The Safir-2B (Which in some news sources is mistakenly called Safir-1B) is the second generation of Safir SLV and can carry a satellite weighing 50 kilograms into an elliptical orbit of 300 to 450 kilometers. The thrust of the Safir-1B rocket engine has been increased from 32 to 37 tons.

Simorgh SLV


In 2010 a more powerful rocket named Simorgh
Simorgh (rocket)
Simorgh is an Iranian expendable small-capacity orbital carrier rocket, which was scheduled to make its maiden flight in 2010. It was unveiled by Iraninan President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on 3 February 2010, as part of celebrations of the first anniversary of the launch of Omid, the first...

 was built. Its mission is to carry heavier satellites into orbit. The Simorgh rocket is 27 meters (89 ft) long, and has a mass of 77 tonnes (85 tons).[4] Its first stage is powered by four main engines, each generating up to 29,000 kilograms (64,000 lb) of thrust, plus a fifth which will be used for attitude control, which provides an additional 13,600 kilograms (30,000 lb).[4] At liftoff, these engines will generate a total of 130,000 kilograms (290,000 lb) of thrust. Simorgh is capable of putting a 60-kilogram (130 lb) payload into a 500-kilometer (310 mi) low Earth orbit.The first flight of the Simorgh rocket, was at one stage scheduled to occur in February 2011.

Sub-orbital launches



On February 25, 2007, the Iranian state-run television announced that a rocket, created by the ministries of science and defense and which carried an unspecified cargo, was successfully launched.This could have been the maiden test flight of the three staged Safir SLV which ended in a failure.Later on it was noted by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the failure was due to a technical problem in the last stage of the SLV
SLV
SLV may refer to:*El Salvador*IATA code for Shimla Airport, India*Slovenian language*Satellite Launch Vehicle, an Indian space launcher*State Library of Victoria*iShares Silver Trust, an Exchange-traded fund with the New York Stock Exchange symbol SLV...

.
On February 4, 2008, Iran successfully launched a two-stage all solid-fuel sub-orbital sounding rocket Kavoshgar-1
Kavoshgar-1
The Safir is the name of the first Iranian expendable launch vehicle that is able to place a satellite in orbit. The first successful orbital launch using the Safir launch system took place 2 February 2009 when a Safir 2 carrier rocket placed the Omid satellite into an orbit with a apogee...

 (Explorer-1), for a maiden sub-orbital test flight from Shahroud, its newly inaugurated domestic space launch complex.
The first stage of the rocket detached after 90 seconds and returned to earth with the help of a parachute while the second stage reached a 200 km altitude before reentering the Earth's atmosphere after 300 seconds. The third section of the rocket, containing an atmospheric probe, climbed to 250 km while successfully transmitting scientific data on the atmosphere and the electromagnetic waves on its path back to Earth. It deployed a parachute after six minutes at a lower altitude.
The second kavoshgar (Kavoshgar-2), which carried a space-lab and a restoration system, was launched in November 2008.

Animals in space


On February 3, 2010, ISA launched a Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) rocket with one rodent, two turtles, and several worms into sub-orbital space and returned them to Earth alive. The rocket was enabled to transfer electronic data and live footage back to Earth. The Iranian Aerospace Organization (IAO) showed live video transmission of mini-environmental lab to enable further studies on the biological capsule. This was the first biological
Animals in space
Animals in space originally only served to test the survivability of spaceflight, before manned space missions were attempted. Later, animals were also flown to investigate various biological processes and the effects microgravity and space flight might have on them...

 payload launched by Iran.

On March 15, 2011, the ISA launched the Kavoshgar-4 (Explorer-4) rocket carrying the capsule designed to carry a live monkey but there were no living creatures on board.
ISA announced plans to launch a live monkey into space in mid-September 2011.
However, in early October, Iran indefinitely suspended those plans and did not announce a revised plan for the simian test flight.

Orbital launches



On August 17, 2008, Iran proceeded with the second test launch of a two-stage Safir SLV from a site south of Semnan in the northern part of the Dasht-e-Kavir desert
Dasht-e Kavir
Dasht-e Kavir , also known as Kavir-e Namak or Great Salt Desert is a large desert lying in the middle of the Iranian plateau. It is about 800 kilometers long and 320 kilometers wide with a total surface area of about 77,600 square kilometers , making it the Earth's 23rd largest desert...

. Reza Taghizadeh, head of the Iranian Aerospace Organization, told state television "The Safir (Ambassador) satellite carrier was launched today and, for the first time, we successfully launched a dummy satellite into orbit".
On February 2, 2009, Iranian state television reported that Iran's first domestically made satellite Omid (from the Persian امید, meaning "Hope") had been successfully launched into LEO
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

 by a version of Iran's Safir rocket, the Safir-2 and therefore Iran became the 9th country to put a domestically built satellite into orbit. The operation was made to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

.
In February 2011, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that there will be many launches of indigenously produced orbiters in 2011-2012 period.

Satellites



  • Sinah-1
    Sinah-1
    Sina-1 is the first Iranian artificial satellite, launched at 6:52 UTC October 28, 2005 on board a Cosmos-3M Russian launch vehicle from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. The rocket was also carrying a Russian military Mozhayets-5 satellite, a Chinese China-DMC, a British Topsat, a European Space Agency...

    , the first Iranian satellite, was designed in Iran, built in Russia
    Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

     and launched by Roscosmos
    Russian Federal Space Agency
    The Russian Federal Space Agency , commonly called Roscosmos and abbreviated as FKA and RKA , is the government agency responsible for the Russian space science program and general aerospace research. It was previously the Russian Aviation and Space Agency .Headquarters of Roscosmos are located...

     on October 28, 2005, on a Kosmos-3
    Cosmos-3M
    The Kosmos-3M is a Russian space launch vehicle. It is a liquid-fueled two-stage rocket, first launched in 1967 and with over 420 successful launches to its name. The Cosmos 3M uses nitrogen tetroxide as an oxidizer to lift roughly 1400 kg of payload into orbit...

     booster rocket from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome
    Plesetsk Cosmodrome
    Plesetsk Cosmodrome is a Russian spaceport, located in Arkhangelsk Oblast, about 800 km north of Moscow and approximately 200 km south of Arkhangelsk.-Overview:...

    , making Iran the 43rd country to possess its own satellite. The joint Iranian Russian Sinah-1 project cost $15 million dollars.

  • Omid, Iran's second satellite that was placed in orbit, is described as a "data-processing" satellite for "research and telecommunications".

  • Rasad-1 is an imaging satellite that has been built and launched successfully by Iran. The satellite was sent into the 260 kilometres orbit by a Safir rocket launcher on June 15, 2011. It beams back to earth pictures with 150-meter resolution.

  • Mesbah (meaning 'Lantern') was to be built by Iran in collaboration with Italy's Carlo Gavazzi Space S.p.A. Mesbah was a low earth orbit telecommunication satellite. The satellite was never launched as both Russia and Italy refused to cooperate with Iran anymore on space projects. The original Mesbah project was later on replaced by indigenous Mesbah-2 which is to be built and launched by Iran alone. It was reported in April 2011 that the $10 million dollar satellite built in Italy, has not been delivered to Iran. Italy has refused to hand over the satellite to Iran under the pretext of international sanctions on Iran
    Sanctions against Iran
    This article outlines economic, trade, scientific and military sanctions against Iran, which have been imposed by the U.S. government, or under U.S. pressure by the international community through the United Nations Security Council...

    . Iran maintains that the satellite be handed over for its launch by an Iranian satellite carrier.

  • Mesbah-2 is a limited application communication satellite which was conceived as a locally designed satellite after the original Mesbah project failed to materialize due to international pressures on Iran. It will have a life span of 3 years with store dump capability and its own navigation system. It is scheduled for launch in 2011-12.

  • Toloo, is the first of a new generation of reconnaissance satellites being built by Iran Electronics Industries with SIGINT
    SIGINT
    Signals intelligence is intelligence-gathering by interception of signals, whether between people , whether involving electronic signals not directly used in communication , or combinations of the two...

     capabilities. It has been designed to spy on Iran's adversaries. Its launch date is not confirmed.

  • Navid-Elmo-Sannat (also known as 'Ya Mahdi') which is an "experimental satellite" built by students for testing camera and telecommunications equipment was revealed to the public on February 3, 2010. It has store-dump capability and will have a resolution of 400 meters. It is to be launched in 2011.

  • Environment 1, a joint research satellite of Iran
    Iran
    Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

    , China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

     and Thailand
    Thailand
    Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

     was launched on a Chinese Long March 2C
    Long March 2C
    Long March 2C , or Chang Zheng 2C as in Chinese pinyin is a member of the Long March 2 rocket family, an expendable launch system operated by the People's Republic of China. This vehicle was developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, and the first launch occurred on November 26,...

     carrier rocket on September 6, 2008, aimed at boosting cooperation on natural disaster
    Natural disaster
    A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard . It leads to financial, environmental or human losses...

    s such as flooding, drought
    Drought
    A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region...

    , typhoon, landslide
    Landslide
    A landslide or landslip is a geological phenomenon which includes a wide range of ground movement, such as rockfalls, deep failure of slopes and shallow debris flows, which can occur in offshore, coastal and onshore environments...

     and earthquake
    Earthquake
    An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

    . The twin Earth observation satellite
    Earth observation satellite
    Earth observation satellites are satellites specifically designed to observe Earth from orbit, similar to reconnaissance satellites but intended for non-military uses such as environmental monitoring, meteorology, map making etc....

    s of eight planned were launched from Taiyuan SLC
    Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center
    The Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center also known as Base 25 , is a People's Republic of China space and defence launch facility . It is situated in Kelan County, Xinzhou Prefecture, Shanxi Province and is the second of three launch sites having been founded in March 1966 and coming into full...

    . The satellites will work as a constellation with six other satellites yet to be launched. Its observational footprint is 720 km. With a lifespan of more than three years, they have state-of-the-art imaging systems and infrared cameras and provide a global scan every two days. Iran had shouldered $6.5 million dollars out of the $44 million dollars of the total project cost.

  • Qaem, is a geosynchronous communication satellite
    Geosynchronous satellite
    A geosynchronous Satellite is a satellite whose orbit on the Earth repeats regularly over points on the Earth over time. If such a satellite's orbit lies over the equator, the orbit is circular and its angular velocity is the same as the earth's, then it is called a geostationary satellite...

     that is being developed by Iran and is scheduled to be launched on an Iranian carrier by 2016. The satellite is going to have a life expectancy of 15 years, broadcasting TV and Radio channels.

  • Pars Sepehr, is a remote sensing satellite being built and to be launched from Iran. Its launch date is not yet confirmed.

  • Pars-2, is a remote sensing satellite being built and to be launched from Iran. Its launch schedule has not yet been announced.

  • Zohreh is a geosynchronous communication satellite
    Geosynchronous satellite
    A geosynchronous Satellite is a satellite whose orbit on the Earth repeats regularly over points on the Earth over time. If such a satellite's orbit lies over the equator, the orbit is circular and its angular velocity is the same as the earth's, then it is called a geostationary satellite...

     which was originally proposed before the Revolution in the 1970s as part of a joint Indian-Iranian project of four Iranian satellites to be launched by the then upcoming NASA space shuttle
    Space Shuttle
    The Space Shuttle was a manned orbital rocket and spacecraft system operated by NASA on 135 missions from 1981 to 2011. The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons...

    s. Iran had also negotiated with France to build and launch the satellites but the project never materialized. In 2005, Iran negotiated with Russia to build and launch the first Zohreh satellite under an agreement worth $132 million dollars with the satellite launch date stipulated as 2007-08. The new agreement had followed the earlier failed negotiations with Russia in 2003 when Russia cancelled the project under US pressures. The satellite was to be of Express-1000 type and capable of relaying telephone, fax, data and television signals with a life span of 15 years. In September 2010, Iran announced that it will build and launch the satellite locally as the foreign contractors had refused to complete the project. New launch date for the satellite was announced as 2014. Russia had announced in 2009 that it is not going to cooperate with Iran on any space projects.

  • Fajr, is an imaging satellite which also carries an experimental locally made GPS system. The satellite will have a life span of 1.5 years and an imaging resolution of 500–1000 meters. It is the first Iranian satellite to use Pulsed plasma thruster
    Pulsed plasma thruster
    Pulsed plasma thrusters are a method of spacecraft propulsion also known as Plasma Jet Engines in general. They use an arc of electric current adjacent to a solid propellant, to produce a quick and repeatable burst of impulse...

    . It is to be launched in 2011.

  • Zafar-1, is an imaging satellite to be launched in 2012 and will have a resolution better than 80 meters.

  • AUT-SAT, is a micro-satellite being developed by students of Amirkabir University of Technology
    Amirkabir University of Technology
    Amirkabir University of Technology , formerly called the Tehran Polytechnic is a public research university located in Tehran, Iran. AUT is one of the most prestigious universities and the first established technical university in Iran...

    . It is designed as a remote sensing satellite with store-dump capability. It is to be launched in 2011-2012.

  • Iran is also to implement 10 satellite projects with Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization
    Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization
    The Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization is an inter-governmental organization operated as a non-profit independent body with full international legal status...

     (APSCO) members. The organization has defined 10 projects on designing, building and launching light satellites, middle class satellites weighing 500–600 kg, research satellites, remote-sensing and telecommunications satellites.

  • Besharat satellite is being built by Iran with collaboration of some OIC
    Organisation of the Islamic Conference
    The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Upon the groups's renaming, some sources provided the English-language translation "Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation", but and have since indicated the preferred English translation omits the "the". is an international organisation consisting of 57...

     members which have volunteered in the project. It is to be launched by Iran. The countries which are jointly working with Iran on the project are Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia and some Arab countries. Its launch date is not yet confirmed.

Space centers


The main launch site of the Iranian Space Agency is Emamshahr, located at 36°25′0"N 55°01′0"E, where suborbital Shahab 3s LV have been launched.
Qom
Qom
Qom is a city in Iran. It lies by road southwest of Tehran and is the capital of Qom Province. At the 2006 census, its population was 957,496, in 241,827 families. It is situated on the banks of the Qom River....

, located at 34°39′0"N 50°54′0"E, is the other launch site.

On occasion of the inaugural launch of Iran's first Safir-class sub-orbital rocket called Kavoshgar-1
Kavoshgar-1
The Safir is the name of the first Iranian expendable launch vehicle that is able to place a satellite in orbit. The first successful orbital launch using the Safir launch system took place 2 February 2009 when a Safir 2 carrier rocket placed the Omid satellite into an orbit with a apogee...

 (Explorer-1), Iran unveiled on February 4, 2008, her first Satellite Launch Center 35.234°N 53.921°E in Semnan. The facility includes an underground command and control center, a tracking station and a launchpad among other structures.

In December 2010 it was announced that due to geographical limitations of first space center in injecting satellite into orbit, studies have been carried out for setting up a second (satellite) launch pad. The new national spaceport
Spaceport
A spaceport or cosmodrome is a site for launching spacecraft, by analogy with seaport for ships or airport for aircraft. The word spaceport, and even more so cosmodrome, has traditionally been used for sites capable of launching spacecraft into orbit around Earth or on interplanetary trajectories...

 of Iran is being built in south east of the country in Sistan and Baluchestan Province. This new port is to be used to launch all future Iranian space missions similar to American Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center
The John F. Kennedy Space Center is the NASA installation that has been the launch site for every United States human space flight since 1968. Although such flights are currently on hiatus, KSC continues to manage and operate unmanned rocket launch facilities for America's civilian space program...

 or the Baikonur Cosmodrome
Baikonur Cosmodrome
The Baikonur Cosmodrome , also called Tyuratam, is the world's first and largest operational space launch facility. It is located in the desert steppe of Kazakhstan, about east of the Aral Sea, north of the Syr Darya river, near Tyuratam railway station, at 90 meters above sea level...

. In March 2011, Jane's Information Group
Jane's Information Group
Jane's Information Group is a publishing company specializing in transportation and military topics.-History:It was founded by Fred T...

 reported on the basis of its satellite imagery analysis of Iranian space launch sites that Iran is aggressively building complex facilities with very rapid pace showing the nation's inclinations towards space readiness.

Space test laboratory


In 2011 Iran launched a number of laboratories for testing “space structures and systems” in line with its progressing space program. The laboratory includes ten labs to “reinforce infrastructures of Iran's space industry” and help improve the abilities of human resources.

Manned space program


Iran expressed for the first time its intention to send a human to space during the summit of Soviet and Iranian Presidents at June 21, 1990. Soviet President
President of the Soviet Union
The President of the Soviet Union , officially called President of the USSR was the Head of State of the USSR from 15 March 1990 to 25 December 1991. Mikhail Gorbachev was the only person to occupy the office. Gorbachev was also General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union between...

 Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

 reached an agreement in principle with then-President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is an influential Iranian politician and writer, who was the fourth President of Iran. He was a member of the Assembly of Experts until his resignation in 2011...

 to make joint Soviet-Iranian manned flights to Mir space station but this agreement was never realized after the breakup of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

.

Almost two decades later the Iranian News Agency claimed on November 21, 2005, that the Iranians have a manned space program along with plans for the development of a spacecraft and a space laboratory.
Iran Aerospace Industries Organization (IAIO) head Reza Taghipour on August 20, 2008, revealed Iran intends to launch a manned mission into space within a decade. This goal was described as the country's top priority for the next 10 years, in order to make Iran the leading space power of the region by 2021.

In August 2010, President Ahmadinejad announced that Iran's first astronaut should be sent into space on board an Iranian spacecraft by no later than 2019. Later on in December 2010, Iranian Communications and Information Technology Minister Reza Taghipour
Reza Taghipour
Reza Taghipour is the head of Ministry of Information and Communications Technology .-Executive Records:*Deputy of the Minister of ICT and head of Iran Space Agency since 2008....

 stated that “The initial steps for the plan have been taken, and the study phase on the definition of subsystems, sub-projects, costs, and what projects need to be developed toward that end, has been conducted, which needs to be submitted to the Supreme Council on Space”. According to Iranian manned space program, the first sub-orbital spaceflight
Sub-orbital spaceflight
A sub-orbital space flight is a spaceflight in which the spacecraft reaches space, but its trajectory intersects the atmosphere or surface of the gravitating body from which it was launched, so that it does not complete one orbital revolution....

 with an Iranian on board will take place by 2016 at an altitude above 200 kilometers as preparation for the eventual orbital spaceflight
Orbital spaceflight
An orbital spaceflight is a spaceflight in which a spacecraft is placed on a trajectory where it could remain in space for at least one orbit. To do this around the Earth, it must be on a free trajectory which has an altitude at perigee above...

.

Also, according to unofficial Chinese internet sources, an Iranian participation in the future Chinese space station program has been discussed. This involvement might range from simply sending astronauts to the 60 tons class space station to contributing with development of a space laboratory module. International manned space cooperation has officially been disclosed for the first time after the launch of the Chinese Shenzhou 7
Shenzhou 7
- Backup crew :Of the back-up crew, only Chen Quan had not previously flown in space.- Mission highlights :The Long March 2F rocket launched the Shenzhou 7 into an initial elliptical orbit of 200 x 330 kilometres inclined at 42.4 degrees on 25 September 2008. About seven hours later the spacecraft...

 spacecraft.

Controversy


The Iranian space program has been condemned by United States and Europe because of their concern over its military potential. Some analysts have compared the relatively fast Iranian advancement in space technology to Russia's Sputnik program with the prediction that this advancement will propel Iran's military capability in other areas as well. The recent launches of the Iranian space program has put its rocket technology ahead of North Korea's, especially in multi-stage technologies necessary for orbital launch. The military concerns over Iran's space program has been exacerbated over Safir rocket's advanced 2nd stage which Iran has kept secret by not releasing any technical information related to the second stage of the rocket, keeping outside observers guessing over the technicalities.

See also


  • List of first orbital launches by country
  • Air Force of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution
  • Anousheh Ansari
    Anousheh Ansari
    Anousheh Ansari is an engineer and the Iranian-American co-founder and chairman of Prodea Systems. Her previous business accomplishments include serving as co-founder and CEO of Telecom Technologies, Inc. . The Ansari family is also the title sponsor of the Ansari X Prize. On September 18, 2006,...

     - First Iranian-American
    Iranian-American
    Iranian-Americans are Americans of Iranian ancestry or people possessing Iranian and American dual citizenship.Iranian-Americans are amongst the most highly educated groups in the United States...

     cosmonaut
  • Economy of Iran
    Economy of Iran
    The economy of Iran is the eighteenth largest in the world by purchasing power parity and according to Iranian officials' claims is going to become the 12th largest by 2015. The economy of Iran is a mixed and transition economy with a large public sector and some 50% of the economy centrally planned...

  • Iran Aviation Industries Organization
    Iran Aviation Industries Organization
    The Iran Aviation Industries Organization was established in 1966 for the purpose of planning, controlling, and managing the military aviation industry of Iran....

  • List of Iranian research centers
  • International rankings of Iran in science and technology
  • List of future manned lunar missions
  • Colonization of Mars
    Colonization of Mars
    The colonization of Mars by humans is the focus of speculation and serious study because the surface conditions and availability of water on Mars make it arguably the most hospitable planet in the solar system other than Earth...

  • Colonization of the Moon
    Colonization of the Moon
    The colonization of the Moon is the proposed establishment of permanent human communities on the Moon. Advocates of space exploration have seen settlement of the Moon as a logical step in the expansion of humanity beyond the Earth. Recent indication that water might be present in noteworthy...

  • National spacefaring programs

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