Iran's Space Facilities
Iran has announced plans to launch a satellite in early 2005. As of September 2004 the location of the intended launch site remained obscure. As with Israel, Iran doesn't have a lot of non-hostile-looking azimuths available for interesting orbits. Looking at a map, Bandar Beheshti (Chah Bahar) or thereabouts looks good for a polar launch to the south. Iran would probably need a no-kidding launch pad with gantry and everything, much along the lines of the DPRK's TD-1 facility. It is curious that the LEAKINT has not disclose the fact of the discovery of this facility. It would be interesting to understand what the minimum essential elements of a launch support infrastructure might look like, as in maybe Iran would use something that could be slapped together quickly.
To expand its capabilities and making it compatible with increasing demand to newly acquired remotely sensed data from space, the Remote Sensing Center of Iran decided to establish a Multi-Mission Remote Sensing Ground Station having both S and X band frequencies, capable of receiving data acquired by existing and future satellites.
The receiving station for data acquisition from TERRA's medium resolution MODIS sensor was put in service early in October 2001 in the IRSC. Since September 2002 the station was made capable of receiving from Indian IRS satellite.
The weather satellite receiving system PC/SAT for Meteosat SDUS and PDUS and NOAA APT has been installed at I. R. Iran Meteorological Organization (IRIMO) headquarters early 1992. The major highlight in operational changes is that IRIMO expanded the receiving station by HRPT and MDD units by 1998. Data taken by meteorological satellites are used by IRIMO's forecasting center not only for weather forecasting purposes but also for atmospheric disaster mitigation objectives.
NOAA receiving facilities is also installed in the Iranian National Oceanographic Center and the Iranian Remote Sensing Center as well. While AVHRR data received by the IRSC's acquisition system are used for earth resources monitoring and studies as well as dissemination of the results and documents in public domain, data received by two other specialized agencies are used for their own studies and research projects.
Leadership Changes & Reorganization
Iranian, Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, on September 1, 2007 appointed IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) commander Mohammad Ali Jafari to IRGC, Commander in Chief to implement his two year in development IRGC strategy programs with emphasis on the strike missile forces. The missile units have beed made into an independent force reporting directly to the IRGC commander. The Air & Space Organization (ASO) new Commander Mohammad Farrahi comes from the IRGC for the new strategy replacing Ahmad Vahid Dastjerdi. The IRGC was as of August 12, 2008 sanctioned for two years by the US government. Defense minister Mohammad Najjar directly supervises the space program projects Safire Omid (Messemger of Hope) closely followed by President Ahamadinejad of Iran via the Air & Space Organization.
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