Iran has produced a domestically made satellite navigation system, the head of the country's space program said in an unveiling ceremony on Wednesday, saying he hoped in the future Tehran would be able to fit the system on Iranian-made spacecraft.
The comments by Iran Space Agency Hamid Fazeli, and cited by the Mehr news agency, came after, earlier this year Iranian media claimed the country had successfully launched a new small satellite into orbit the latest in the country's ambitious space program that has raised concerns because of its possible military applications.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called in to the launch site, saying he was
hopeful this act will send a signal of more friendship among all human beings," the state IRNA news agency reported.
IRNA said the home-made satellite, Navid, or Gospel, was designed to collect data on weather conditions and monitor for natural disasters.
It said the satellite weighs about 50 kilograms and would orbit the earth at an altitude of up to 375 kilometers, circling the planet 15 times a day. It's of a type known as miniaturized or microsatellites, which are cheaper to produce and allow for less costly launch vehicles.
Speaking in a ceremony in Tehran on Wednesday, Iran's top space official was cited by Mehr as saying that the new satellite navigation syatem – named Nasir 1 – was designed to locate the precise locations of other satellites moving in orbit.
According to Mehr, Fazeli added that he hoped that one day the Nasir 1 would be fitted on Iran-made on spacecrafts would be manufactured by Iranian experts in the near future.
Following the reported launch of Navid, the Iranian website Mashreq claimed that the satellite was able to take detailed photographs of the nuclear reactor in Dimona as well as "sensitive sites, air forces bases, and various areas of Tel Aviv."
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