Iran to unveil missile, satellite projects
Iran's Defense Minister General Ahmad Vahidi says Tehran plans to unveil a new range of missile and satellite projects during the Ten Days of Dawn celebrations, Press TV reported.
"Fajr (dawn) is the first satellite with the ability to change from the elliptical orbit of 300-450 kilometers to a circular orbit of 450 kilometers which increases the life expectancy of the satellite by one year and a half," Vahidi said on Sunday.
The Rasad (observation) satellite is the country's first satellite for photography, Vahidi said at the inauguration ceremony of the Middle East's biggest center of laboratories for testing space structures and systems.
"The thrust of the Safir (ambassador) 1-B rocket engine has been increased from 32 to 37, and it can carry a satellite weighing 50 kilogram's into an elliptical orbit of 300 to 450 kilometers," IRNA quoted the Iranian defense minister as saying.
The other rocket, Kavoshgar (explorer) 4, has the ability to carry space laboratories containing biologic cargos within a range of 120 kilometers, Vahidi added.
In recent years, Iran has made important breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing important military equipment and systems.
Earlier this month, the Iranian Defense Ministry delivered new naval cruise missile systems to the Navy in yet another move to boost the nation's defense capabilities.
The Navy has successfully test-fired a range of powerful missiles mounted with laser technology, which display high precision and have a range of 45km (28 miles) to 300km (186 miles).
Iran also unveiled its first domestically-manufactured long-range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in 2010.
The Karrar UAV is capable of carrying a military payload of rockets to carry out bombing missions against ground targets. It is also capable of flying long distances at high speeds.
The Islamic Republic also unveiled its first major space center in 2008 by launching the first Iranian rocket, Explorer-1, into space.
Iran is one of the 24 founding members of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which was set up in 1959. To date, only eight countries have put domestically-made satellites into orbit.