Iranian satellite "Khayyam" was launched into orbit by a Russian Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan on Tuesday.
The Iranian remote sensing satellite was sent into orbit by a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday morning.
Iran’s Minister of Communication and Information Technology Eesa Zarepoor, who is in Kazakhstan, described the launch of the satellite as the “beginning of strategic cooperation between Iran and Russia in the space industry.”
He said a major stride has been made by the launch of Khayyam, which would collect the space data that Iran needs. “The high-resolution images (taken by Khayyam) could be used to improve the space applications in the country in the environmental and agricultural sectors.”
Apart from strategic cooperation with Russia, a country with an advanced space industry, Iran plans to enhance its domestic space technology, Zarepoor noted, saying the Islamic Republic will send a sensing satellite into an orbit 500 kilometers above the Earth by the end of the current Iranian year (March 2023).
“We are now capable of sending light satellites into orbit,” the ICT minister added, explaining that Khayyam weighs 600 kilograms and is going to orbit 500 km above the surface.
He also said that homegrown satellites and satellite carriers will be manufactured in the country during the tenure of President Ebrahim Raisi.
Iran has already announced that the local experts will control Khayyam “from day one”, rejecting reports that it will be first used by Moscow to "enhance its surveillance of military targets" in Ukraine.
"All orders related to the control and operation of this satellite will be carried out and issued from day one and immediately after launch by Iranian experts based in Iran's...space bases," the Iranian Space Agency said in a statement on August 7.
A report by The Washington Post on August 4 claimed that Russia "plans to use the satellite for several months or longer" to assist its war efforts in Ukraine before allowing Iran to take control of it.
The Iranian space agency has dismissed the claims as "untrue,” and said "no third country is able to access the information" sent by the satellite due to its "encrypted algorithm.”endNewsMessage1