Iran plans to launch several home-built satellites by March 2012, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday after the unveiling of four new prototypes.
As part of Iran's annual revolution celebrations, a time traditionally marked by new technological and military advances, Ahmadinejad unveiled locally-made satellites while a senior commander showed off mass produced missiles.
"We should reach a point where we will be able to provide our knowledge and technology in the aerospace field to other countries," Ahmadinejad said in a speech, unveiling the satellites he said were for scientific purposes, and showing film of a satellite-carrier rocket.
Iran unveiled on Monday what it said were prototypes of four new home-built satellites -- Rasad (Observation), Fajr (Dawn), Zafar (Victory) and Amir Kabir-1 and also engines of a Safir-B1 (Ambassador-B1) rocket, reports said.
The country does not have an operational satellite of its own but Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced in December that two satellites, Fajr and Rasad-1, would be launched by the end of the current Iranian year to March 20.
But on Sunday, Vahidi said a launch date for Fajr and Rasad-1 was "not fixed" yet, indicating their launch would likely be delayed.
Iran in February 2009 sent into space its first home-built test satellite Omid (Hope) carried by a Safir-2 rocket.
Twelve months later, it launched a capsule carrying live turtles, rats and worms aboard a Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) rocket in what was Iran's first experiment to send living creatures into space.
Fajr, which was unveiled on Monday, is a reconnaissance satellite constructed by the defence ministry, while Amir Kabir-1, the details of which were unavailable, is built by Tehran's Amir Kabir university.
Iran on Sunday opened its first centre to receive satellite images, a new stage in its space programme and the equipment for which it says have been manufactured locally.
AgenciesLast Mod: 07 Şubat 2011, 15:47