• Friday, 12 April 2024

Iran Launches Remote Sensing Satellite into Orbit from Russia

Gulan Media February 29, 2024 News
Iran Launches Remote Sensing Satellite into Orbit from Russia

Iran has announced the successful launch of a remote sensing and imaging satellite, Pars-I, into orbit from Russia, as reported by state media. The launch, conducted in collaboration with Russia, was broadcast live on Iranian state television.

The satellite, weighing 110 kilograms (242 pounds), was launched using the Russian Soyuz-2.1b launcher from Russia’s Vostochny launch base, situated approximately 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) east of Moscow, according to the official IRNA news agency. Iran's Telecommunications Minister, Issa Zareppur, emphasized that Pars-I was entirely domestically developed in Iran, marking another milestone in the country's space program, which has seen a dozen satellite launches over the past two years.

Equipped with three cameras, Pars-I is designed for various purposes including environmental monitoring and agricultural analysis. It will be positioned in orbit around the North and South Poles, synchronized to maintain a fixed position relative to the Sun. After a calibration process, the satellite is expected to be fully operational.

This launch comes after Iran's announcement in January of simultaneously launching three satellites into orbit, following a research satellite launched by its Revolutionary Guards. Despite repeated warnings from Western governments, including the United States, regarding the potential dual-use nature of such technology, Iran maintains that its space endeavors are for civilian and defensive purposes only.

Notably, this collaboration between Iran and Russia comes against the backdrop of heightened tensions between Russia and the West, particularly amid Russia's ongoing conflict in Ukraine. In August 2022, Russia launched Iran’s Khayyam satellite, sparking controversy over potential surveillance capabilities that could be utilized in the context of the conflict.

The United States has recently announced plans to impose new sanctions on Iran, citing its alleged support for Russia's actions in Ukraine—a claim vehemently denied by Tehran.

Iran continues to assert its commitment to peaceful space exploration while navigating geopolitical complexities and international scrutiny.