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The Iranian hope (Omid) in space

About the Iranian Space Center, which is dedicated to missile testing, a satellite tracking station, and an Iranian satellite integration facility

Safir - the new Iranian launcher
Safir - the new Iranian launcher

Tal Amber - Galileo

Monday, February 4.2.2008, XNUMX, is a historic day in Iranian terms, and it is very possible that its consequences will go beyond the boundaries of this radical Islamic state. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Defense Minister Najjar and other government officials inaugurated on this day the new Iranian Space Center, dedicated to missile tests, a satellite tracking station, and an integration facility for Iranian satellites.

Not only that during the visit of the presidential entourage to the facility a ballistic missile was launched to a high altitude, but that Iran simultaneously unveiled a new space launch missile, which was not known until then, and for the "dessert" a small self-developed satellite was presented, and the date of its launch into space was even hinted at. The Israeli reader has been used to reading about the Iranian missile program for years, in the context of ballistic missiles carrying warheads; It seems that the latest revelations from Tehran justify turning the spotlight on the Iranian space program, understanding its background, motives and goals for the coming years.

In 1998, a model of a satellite launcher was presented at an arms exhibition in Tehran, along with a simple model of a satellite. It was the first tangible manifestation of an Iranian plan to develop a satellite launcher. A year later, Iran officially declared its desire to develop an independent capability to launch objects into space. The head of the Iranian Space Agency reiterated this at a conference sponsored by the United Nations, which dealt with the issue of space and was held in Iran in 2004. Iran has a branch space establishment, led by a committee for space research, headed by the country's president. Many defense industries are partners in Iran's space ventures, and various government ministries take part in building the human and technological infrastructure designed to support the country's various space programs.

The reasons for Iran's entry into space

Developing countries see a national space program as a means of improving international and regional status, for strengthening the technological capacity of the country as part of the strengthening process, for strengthening local industry and for creating new economic possibilities, for improving the well-being of the population (for example by using satellite communications) and for the use of remote sensing satellites to address environmental problems. Iran aspires to be an important force both in the regional system and in the international system. In order to achieve this status, Iran is engaged in the development of long-range missiles and a nuclear program and maintains a space program, which dates back to the days of the Shah's rule in the XNUMXs.

Iran's activity in space stopped with the fall of the Shah's regime in January 1979, and was renewed under the leadership of the revolution in the nineties of the 20th century. Already in the mid-sixties, the Shah expressed interest in a visit by American astronauts to Iran as part of attempts to get closer to the United States. At the same time, Iranian scientists expressed a desire to take part in the American space program, the Apollo program. The United States did not respond to these requests. In the mid-seventies, Iran appealed to the United States to help it establish an Iranian space agency. In October 1974, a memorandum of understanding was signed in Tehran between the United States and Iran for the transfer of information from the Landsat satellite (the first commercial remote sensing satellite, developed by NASA) to Iran, through a ground station to receive information from the satellite, to be built near Tehran. The station was established in the late seventies, and began receiving test broadcasts to test its competence. However, these were stopped at the beginning of January 1979 following the revolution.

Space activity - a cover for the ballistic missile program

The Iranian Ministry of Defense plays a central role in shaping Iran's space program. In December 2003, Iran established the Supreme Council for Space Affairs, which is chaired by the President of Iran, and whose members are the central ministers of the Iranian government, including the Minister of Defense. The Ministry of Defense participates in the ambitions to develop local capabilities for developing satellites and launching them into space, and is the body responsible for the Shihab ballistic missile program, which Iran uses as a basis for developing a satellite launcher. It will be emphasized that Iran's preoccupation with space launchers serves, among other things, as a cover for its programs in the field of ballistic missiles, and a tool for circumventing various limitations regarding the transfer of diverse missile technologies.

The first Iranian satellite

Iran is the 43rd country to own a satellite. On October 27, 2005, the Sinah 1 satellite was successfully launched, which Iran purchased from the Ukrainian Yuzhnoi company and which was launched into space on a Russian launcher. It is a remote sensing satellite that weighs 160 kilograms. The Iranians announced that it was a civilian satellite whose purpose was to photograph Iran and help monitor natural disasters and especially earthquakes, but a few weeks after its launch, the head of Iran's space agency stated that the satellite was capable of spying on Israel. This statement is mainly propaganda, since the satellite's capabilities to photograph Israel with a resolution that allows for the production of operational information is only marginal.

Masbah - the lucky satellite

In the field of remote sensing, a microsatellite named Mesbah (which means lighthouse in Persian) was built for Iran, weighing about 60 kilograms. The satellite was built by the Italian Carlo Gavazzi company in collaboration with research bodies in Iran. This satellite was supposed to fly into space in 2005, but a short circuit that occurred during its integration into the Russian Cosmos 3 satellite launcher caused heavy damage to it, and it has not yet been launched into space; His fate and location are unknown.

Iranian communication satellites

Iranian plans for launching communication satellites were developed as early as the 20s, and Iran even owns three locations in the geostationary belt, intended for communication satellites, which were armored back in the Shah's era. Many reports indicate that Iran has signed a contract with a Russian company to develop a communications satellite under the name Zohreh (the planet Venus in Persian).

Safir - the new Iranian launcher

The satellite launcher known as Safir is based on the Iranian Shihab 3 ballistic missile technology (which is actually a local production of the North Korean long-range No-dong missile). It differs from the Iranian Shihab missiles in its greater length and the shape of the nose canopy, designed to contain a satellite instead of a warhead. According to Iranian spokesmen who gave a message after the launch, Iran will launch the self-developed satellite called Omid (Tikva) in the coming year using the Safir satellite launcher. Omid will not carry a camera, but only a receiver and transmitter.

According to calculations made by Israel Defense Prize winner Uzi Rubin and others, it can be concluded that a satellite launcher based on the technologies of the Iranian Shihab missile has an extremely limited ability to launch satellites into a low orbit around the Earth, and the mass of the satellite a missile of this type can carry is estimated at tens of kilograms. Additional photos published on Iranian websites reveal more details about the rocket's engines for the first and second stages, as well as the structure of the nose canopy, which has already been tested by the Iranians. Official spokesmen said that the satellite will be launched during the coming year.

Omid - the new player in Iran's satellite team

Omid is a small-dimension satellite. This satellite will be launched into space during the coming year, aboard the Iranian Safir satellite launcher. Iran's news agencies have not published technical details about this satellite, except for the announcement that it was developed and produced entirely in Iran. An analysis of the images published by Iran suggests that it is a tiny satellite, built in the shape of a cube, with a tail length of about 30 to 40 cm. The satellite has multi-directional antennas, a feature that apparently indicates that it lacks a stabilization system and is directed towards the Earth. According to the pictures, it is impossible to assess the purpose of the satellite, beyond being a technological demonstration.

Iran's motives in developing a national space program

The ability to launch an object into space has clear strategic significance. A country that possesses such a capability is actually capable of hitting any point on the planet. Iran's success in developing and launching a satellite on its own would be a breakthrough for it. Only a very limited number of countries have so far managed to launch a satellite on their own. An independent Iranian launch would be for Iran an entrance ticket to a very prestigious club of the launching countries. In the regional arena, a national Iranian space program that includes the development of satellites and whose launch will be a response to the Israeli space program.

Iran's activity is not directed towards Israel alone. Iran also wants status and influence in the Muslim world. The domestic national arena will also be affected by the demonstration of independent space capabilities. Iran's success in developing a satellite on its own and launching it into space will help the Iranian government unite the Iranian public and strengthen Iranian national pride. Such a success would legitimize Ahmadinejad's policies and strengthen his power and status at home.

Looking ahead

The launcher, space and nuclear programs are ultimately integrated into the overall Iranian effort to strengthen in the regional and global arena, with the aim of establishing its position as a force of significance and importance, and this beyond its position towards Israel. Some new details about Iran's satellite program were given by Iranian Defense Minister Mustafa Mohammad Najjar. According to his words, in the years 2010-2013, Iran will produce two "communication and research satellites", and will also develop a satellite in cooperation with other unspecified Islamic countries, named Besharat.

14 תגובות

  1. Michael,
    don't feel uncomfortable
    All in all, I made sure that your words are indeed in line with the book of the Holy Qur'an;]

  2. From:
    don't spoil it for me
    I'm also allowed to do a little psychological warfare, right?

  3. Michael,
    This is psychological warfare, and the plans do not always go as a certain party expects. You necessarily assume that his words will upset people about him, while it is possible that the opposite reaction will arise.
    The Israeli side, for example, is ignorant and with the book on the subject. Israeli advocacy over the years has focused on attempts at reconciliation and speaking in condescending, inferior tones - towards our enemies. And they, contrary to what the intuitive opinion would say, did not see this as an opportunity for reconciliation, but an opportunity to intensify the struggle.
    This is a script that repeats itself a lot simply due to the fact that we do not correctly interpret the mentality of the Muslim world, and see everything through Western eyes and Western laws!

  4. Mirom Golan:
    This may be his intention, but we all know that Iran really is a monster and the problem is that as time goes by it becomes even more of a monster, therefore things like the words of that "Musholam" (what do you think of the new name I gave him? 🙂 ) may actually achieve the opposite effect because people will want to kill the kettle before it grows and becomes a locomotive.

  5. Gentlemen
    You are trying in vain to argue with a paid talkbackist on behalf of the Revolutionary Guards.
    This may come as a surprise to you, but it is a settled fact in the security services that such paid talkbackists exist, and many of them. Their goal is to change public opinion in Israel against an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, and to present Iran as a monster that should not be messed with. They are mostly found on the mainstream news sites.
    Some of them even speak Hebrew so eloquently that even the sharp eye will have trouble distinguishing them from native Hebrew speakers.

  6. Ahmed:
    Suppose even that is true.
    How will this happen? By having Iran send missiles here?
    Do you know how many of your friends Iran will kill if you do that? Maybe even you?
    It must make you very happy.
    Let's even say you stay alive after that. Do you really want to live under Islamic rule?
    Haven't you seen how many Iranians the Iranian government executes as a matter of routine?
    If you had written a similar response in Iran - the response would not have been late and it would not have been on the Internet.
    Instead of enjoying the fact that you live in the only democracy in the Middle East and doing everything for this situation to continue, you wish for your personal loss.
    Make me healthy.

  7. Why should anyone be defeated at all, why not make peace and invest the resources in the well-being of the Iranian people instead of weapons that will come back to them like a boomerang?
    Or for you, the well-being of your people is not a duty of a government like in the West.

  8. There is nothing like Omid Jalili, a great Persian comedian who grew up in the UK and should be seen

  9. Do they have plans to send people into space?
    Which body is responsible for determining the positions of satellites?

  10. Little
    If this is what you think, you probably have a problem with the psychological mechanism of knowing the enemy, and separating him from a friend. Only a submissive and submissive person will be happy when his enemies advance and become stronger.

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