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Iran’s Up-coming first Satellite Launch Attempt


“Kavoshgar” Sounding Rocket & the First Satellite Launch Vehicle “Safire”

© C. P. Vick 2008 All Rights Reserved

March 25, - April 12, 2008


The opinions and evaluations stated here in are only the authors and cannot be construed to reflect those of any Government agency, company, institute or association. It is based on public information, circumstantial evidence, informed speculation, declassified U.S. intelligence community documents, official Iranian and North Korean government documents and histories, oral histories, interviews and reverse engineering analysis. As with all data regarding the Iranian and North Korean strategic space and ballistic missile programs, this analysis is subject to revision--and represents a work in progress

Iran’s Up-coming first Satellite Launch Attempt

Safir-1, 2 Iranian Launch Vehicle

Iran plans to launch two more research and development “Safir” boosters into space to finish its development before attempting to launch the Omid [Hope] scientific satellite in the summer of 2008 according to its president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The defense minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said in a speech on February 4, 2008 that the Omid [Hope] satellite would be launched during the next Khordad-87 between May 21 and June 22, 2008 or during the following Khordad in the summer of 2008 which started March 20, 2008 for the Iranian Islamic calendar. He further iterated that the plans were a part of the guide lines of the supreme leader Ali Khamene'i, policies and objectives of the ninth government, and the 20-year economic outlook plan.

Omid [Hope] Satellite

Completing the ten year research and development of the Omid [Hope] satellite project with its successful orbiting in 2008 is mandated to be completed before March 20, 2009 . It is to be placed in a high inclination orbit (perhaps 62-64 degrees) with a 650 kilometer circular obit altitude passing over Iran six times daily. The box shaped satellite has many external antennas’ on its outer surfaces that are covered with a thermal insulation blanket. There are no obvious solar arrays on the outer shell indicating battery powered a short life satellite. It contains many black box instruments giving it a mass in the 40-100 kilogram range as expected.

“Kavoshgar” (Explorer)Vertical Probe Sounding Rocket Performance,

When Iran launched the Kavoshgar sounding rocket vertical probe a derivation of the Shahab-3C/Ghadr MRBM was said to have achieved an altitude of 200 kilometers with its scientific probe. The vehicle consisted of three parts with the rocket detaching between 90 and 100 seconds of flight returning to earth via ballistic trajectory. Whether the booster stage was recovered via parachute is questionable. The aero shell re-entry vehicle was also separated achieving 200 -250 kilometers in altitude and returned to earth via ballistic trajectory after 300 seconds in flight. The encapsulated probe continued to ascent to 200-250 kilometers orbital altitude but whether it separated from the aero shell re-entry vehicle is questionable and unlikely until parachute deployment at a lower altitude if at all. That scientific ballistic sounding rocket probe was designed to gather meteorological data returned information on the atmosphere, winds, temperature and pressure as well as the electromagnetic waves on its flight path and simultaneously made contact with the ground track station during its flight and returned to earth via ballistic trajectory with recovery by a parachute with in 300 seconds to 360 seconds. The launch of the Kavoshgar vertical probe was said to be a test flight leading up to the hoped for successful “Safir” flight with the future scientific research satellite, Omid (Hope), launch to orbit. This flight certainly constituted another successful flight test of the Ghadr ballistic missile indicating its duel purpose intent. Kavoshgar was not launched from the location of the new Safir space booster launch site but else where from this vast ballistic missile and space booster test infrastructure and artillery range. That facility is believed to be west of the space launch site and the support industrial zone.

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Page last modified: 21-07-2011 00:51:41 ZULU