Iran in Space
On Sunday 17 August 2008 Iran claimed to have successfully launched its first home-produced communications satellite into space. Independent confirmation of these claims was not immediately forthcoming. "President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad was at the launch of the communications satellite Omid (Hope) from Iran's space station," government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham said, according to the Fars news agency.
An statement from the Iranian armed forces said it was the first launch of the domestically-built satellite, the official news agency IRNA reported. Joint Chief of Staff on Sunday congratulated Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and brave Iranian nation on successful launching of the rocket carrying the country's first satellite. In a message issued on Sunday, the Joint Chief of Staff said the rocket carrying the country's first satellite, the `Hope' Satellite, was successfully fired on the birth Anniversary of the last Imam of Shiites, Hazrat Mahdi (May God Hasten His Reappearance), "thus illustrating the auspicious name of the Imam in space". The message said the launching marks the second instance of successful tentative firing of such rockets.
Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics said Friday that in presence of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's `Safir' (Messenger) satellite-carrier rocket, carrying Iran's first `Omid' (Hope) Satellite, was successfully launched into the space tentatively on Sunday. The Ministry statement, a copy of which was made available to IRNA on Sunday, said the launch thus paved the way for placing the first Iranian satellite in orbit. It said the rocket had been built by Iranian experts and fired tentatively on the auspicious birthday anniversary of Hazrat Mahdi (May God Hasten His Reappearance).