Iranian Defense Minister announced on Monday that the construction phase of the country's new space launch center is almost complete.
TEHRAN (YJC) Feb. 4 - Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi also said on Monday that the country will launch a home-made satellite from the center in the near future.
"A Imam Khomeini Space Launch Center is in its final stage and Simorgh Satellite carrier will be launched from this center" in the near future, Vahidi said, addressing a group of space technology researchers today.
He added that Iran plans to send different types of satellites, including Tolou (Dawn) into the orbit on the back of Simorgh (Phoenix) satellite carriers.
The minister further said that President Ahmadinejad's administration has drawn a 10-year space program and made great achievements, some of which are owned only by five world countries.
On January 28, the Defense Ministry's Aerospace Industries Organization announced that it has sent a monkey into the space on the back of Pishgam (Pioneer) explorer rocket, and that it has brought back and recovered the living cargo.
The Aerospace Industries Organization said it had sent the living creature into space aboard an indigenous biocapsule as a prelude to sending humans into space.
The Aerospace Industries Organization said the capsule was sent to an orbit beyond 120km in altitude and carried out telemetry of the environmental data records.
The explorer rocket was launched by the Aerospace Industries Organization and it returned to the Earth after reaching the desired speed and altitude, and the living creature (monkey) was retrieved and found alive.
The Islamic republic, which first put a satellite into orbit in 2009, has outlined an ambitious space program and has, thus far, made giant progress in the field despite western sanctions and pressures against its advancement.
Iran has taken wide strides in aerospace. The country sent the first biocapsule of living creatures into space in February 2011, using its home-made Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) carrier.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced in 2010 that Iran plans to send astronauts into space in 2024. But, later he said that the issue had gone under a second study at a cabinet meeting and that the cabinet had decided to implement the plan in 2019, five years earlier than the date envisaged in the original plan.
Omid (Hope) was Iran's first research satellite that was designed for gathering information and testing equipment. After orbiting for three months, Omid successfully completed its mission without any problem. It completed more than 700 orbits over seven weeks and reentered the Earth's atmosphere on April 25, 2009.
After launching Omid, Tehran unveiled three new satellites called Tolou, Mesbah II and Navid, respectively. Iran has also unveiled its latest achievements in designing and producing satellite carriers.