Iran to launch first 'Muslim' satellite

Iran has announced it will launch the Muslim world's first satellite within 18 months.

    Russia is said to have built Iran a telecommunications satellite

    Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani said on Monday that Iran would "go into space with a locally produced satellite and launch pad system". 

    Shamkhani added "the aerospace capacity of the Islamic Republic is among the most genuine areas for bolstering the country's deterrence force, which is acquired through the cooperation of the defense industries and universities".

    However, no details on the type of satellite Iran planned to launch were given.

    Space race 

    Russian news agency Interfax said in August Moscow planned to discuss with Tehran the possibility of resuming a project in which Russia would build Iran a telecommunications satellite.

    It quoted a Russian official as saying Russia had designed a project that Iran accepted on technical grounds, but it had been put on ice due to contractual concerns on Iran's part.

    Nigeria became the latest country to join the race for space, launching a satellite from northwestern Russia last September.

    And on 27 December, Israel launched its second commercial communications satellite from Kazakhstan from a Russian Soyuz launch vehicle.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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