Iran Claims LEO Satellite Will Be Launched by Late 2011 Without Foreign Aid
[Satellite TODAY 11-25-09] Iran will launch Misbah, a low-Earth orbit data communications satellite, by late 2011 without the help of Italy or Russia, Iranian officials announced Nov. 20.
The three countries were in talks to develop Iran’s space program, but according to Iranian Telecommunications Minister Reza Taqipour, those talks fell apart recently over concerns that the rockets used to launch Iranian satellites could be used for military purposes. Earlier in November, Mahdi Farahi, the head of Iran’s Aero Space Industries, announced that Iran would use Italy to launch Mesbah — a report promptly denied by Italian space officials claiming that the country did not have the technical ability to support the mission.
“Our capability to launch a satellite has increased. … We hope to launch Mesbah satellite-2 ourselves,” Taqipour said in a statement.