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Iran's Piloted Program

When he sent Iranian scientists monkey into space in 2013, he volunteered the then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to be the first Iranian fly in a homemade rocket perhaps in 2018, but the presidential term of Ahmadinejad ended in 2013 as well, and it seems that Iran's ambitions to send humans to space flights are now over.

Iran Space Agency canceled the launch of a missile project carrying human beings into space, according to the agency Iranian news agency "IRNA", which quoted the deputy head of the space agency, Mohammad Humayun 31 May 2017. He said if it was necessary to send humans into space, development costs within 15 years would range from 15 to $ 20 billion, "which is very high."

Iranian Space SuitIranís Minister of Information and Communications Technology posted a picture of Iranís space suit on his Twitter account on Tuesday with the caption ďAstronaut costume #bright_futureĒ. Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, a former intelligence officer and currently the youngest member of Iranís cabinet, didnít manage to stir up a wave of national pride.

Instead, users scrutinized the picture and realized the space suit was in fact a $20 Halloween costume available for purchase on and other online retailers. The only differences between the two are slight but clearly noticeable. The Iranian suit removed the Nasa logos and the US flag on the left arm from the Halloween costume and you can clearly see the stitches where they used to be and stitched an Iranian flag on the right arm which is not even a symmetric rectangle.

Ariane Tabatabai, an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation, tweeted: ď.. Jahromiís tweet does provide for some entertainment (mostly because of its the perfect marriage of incompetence and hubris, which really summarizes the Islamic Republicís track record on many issues)..Ē

In January 2013, when Iran said it sent a monkey into space and brought him back alive, Iranian scientists have regarded the experience as a prelude to sending humans into space within 5 to 8 years, Iran has been sent by a rat and turtle and worms. Happy with these successes, Ahmadinejad announced that he is ready to be the first Iranian to sacrifice himself for scientists in the country, and less than a year, the Iranian space agency said it has made progress towards human space flight, three-dimensional cross-sectional space capsule.

However, the Iranian President Hassan Rowhani - who was elected for a second term - facing growing concerns about high unemployment and other economic problems rates in Iran, which has continued despite the easing of sanctions imposed on Alaaran over its nuclear program. So it's not surprising cancellation of Iran's plan to join the small group of countries sent humans into space, amid growing popular discontent with the deterioration of the economic conditions of the country and the living conditions of citizens, with the increasing rates of poverty in an unprecedented way.

Head of Iran's National Space Center Manouchehr Manteqi announced in October 2018 that the country planned to cooperate with Russia in sending men into space for the first time. "Because sending human being into space needs lots of expenses, and different countries use each other's possibilities, and at present, Russia's possibilities are almost complete, we have decided to do the mission in cooperation with Russia," Manteqi told reporters in Tehran.


© By Charles P. Vick (All Rights Reserved) 2012

08-25-2008- -9-1-2010-3-16-31 thru, 5-25-12/3-14-13/12-02-13

Rev. 7


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.

Tehran, Iran and its Piloted Program Planning Reflect DPRK Activities

More recently Iran revealed that it plans to send its first Astronaut into space within ten years (2021?) or more accurately during the Iranian year of 1403 which is between March 2024-March 2025, as a outlook plan that is tentatively being formulated according to Reza Taghipour head of the Iranian Aerospace organization stated on Iranian State television August 21, 2008. That is within the next six months to one year this proposal will be firmed up with exact dates of the requirements for the mission of the three State three year plans down the road. Subsequently Iran has converted its space program to Five Year Plans like that utilized by China and North Korea.

Iran has now decided as of July 25, 2010 ostensible due to external pressures from the West to accelerate its manned space program rescheduling it for the Iranian year of 1398 which is March 2019-March 2020. The below illustration would seem to indicate the planned launch vehicle development process leading to a crewed spacecraft program for Iran. Though obviously planned no astronaut crew trainees selections from the Iranian fighter Pilot core have been announced through 2013 from previous suggestion in December 2011. Discussions with Russian and Chinese official for crew education and training have been carried out with no follow up announcement.

Accelerated Human Crew Launch Schedule

Iran plans a launch of an astronaut human crew in 2016/2017 that is 7 years from 2010. This is part of an originally scheduled 12 year plan leading to Iranian crewed flight originally scheduled for 2021. The plan authorized by the Iranian government covering several three year plans has in fact been accelerated forward as of August 4, 2010. The basis of its new missile booster developments lead by its aerospace organization recently revised for human crewed sub-orbital launch to 2019 but now there is talk for 2016/2017 as the earliest possible year of the flight. Iran had initially decided as of July 25, 2010 ostensible due to external pressures from the West to accelerate its manned space program rescheduling it for the Iranian year of 1398 which is March 2019-March 2020.

At that point the Iranian government decided to go for breaking the crewed program into two phases. The first phase to be sub-orbital crewed flight into space followed by crewed orbital flight once the booster becomes available. This was in recognition that the under 200 kilometer altitude flight for a crewed spacecraft as a suborbital mission was more feasible that the orbital flight that required much more development time reflecting its higher level of difficulty. (76) The recent Kavashgar-5 (Explorer-5), flight of January 28, 2013 successfully proved the operation of this vertical probes operation. The vertical probe sounding rocket launched the 288 kilogram "Pishgam" (pioneer in Farsi) capsule to an altitude of 120 kilometers above the earth in space with its live monkey. Future "Pishgram" (Pioneer) bio experimental flights will attempt to reach 175 kilometers altitude with 500 kilogram capsule on the Shahab-3C/Ghadr class Kovoshgar-X launch vehicle payload combination.

On February 7, 2013 it became apparent that Iran would for attempt to do its suborbital crewed flights in the 2017 - 2018 time frame because of delays in the Simorgh launch site preparation and that boosters development. The Simorgh-3 was to have flown in 2012 but that goal was not met as the launch site was not ready on the First Space Center range launch infrastructure in Semnan, Iran region.

The completed Simorgh-3 static/dynamic test stand with the beginning earth works foundation for a second possibly upper stage static test facility set close to within this infrastructure as of 2008 through 9-21-2012 imagery indicates.

The nearly completed Simorgh-3 launch complex infrastructure as of 2012.

The nearly completed first Simorgh-3 launch pad expected to be utilized for Iran's crewed sub-orbital and future crewed flights in addition the the Simorgh -3 space booster developments variations as of 2012.

The below illustration would seem to indicate the planned launch vehicle development process leading to a crewed spacecraft program for Iran. Subsequently more details have here in emerged from the DPRK and Iran clarifying many possible design issues of the planned systems.

This was a first estimation as far back as 2004 through 2009 but now more details have emerged from the DPRK that impact the Iranian considerations. It has been indicated a much longer heavier class launch vehicle than previously considered that has considerable growth potential is being developed. Speculation on derivations on the Iranian Simorgh-5, 6 IRILV designs may permit its first human spaceflight program in addition to providing it with a potential full range ICBM though it is entirely too large to be practical as a weapons system. See: NK-SL-X for the new medium lift dedicated space booster.

More recently Iran revealed the planned human crewed spacecraft and booster designs for its sub-orbital flights planned at the IAC conference in Naples during October 2012. It calls for a spacecraft shaped as a truncated cone to have a base diameter of up to 2.48 meters in diameter e with up to three person crew. The actual sub-orbital flight calls for a trained astronaut crew of two Iranians flying a ballistic trajectory to an altitude of 200 kilometers and to land perhaps 300-350 kilometers down range. Its duration will 15-20 minutes in total. (1)

However this begged the question of what are Iran's option to obtain orbital flight through the review of hardware in development verses that which must be developed. That in turn revealed a second static test stand in the early earth foundation work in progress and that Iran must develop an enlarged matching diameter second stage for the Simorgh-3 booster and even possible a small but same diameter third stage to full fill its desire for orbital flight.

IRISLV-X- , Sepehr Space Booster

This is an "estimate" of the approximate required size Iranian space booster Sepehr to accomplish Iran's crewed orbital flight as well as 700 kilogram payload placed in a 1,000 kilometer orbit

Beyond the sub-orbital crewed flight application of the Simorgh-3 booster Iranian crewed orbital flight aspirations will require a far larger more powerful booster Sepehr, IRISLV-X-? The storable highly toxic corrosive liquid propellant RISLV-X- , Sepehr space booster is in the early stages of concept design development along with the published crewed spacecraft design studies. That new booster if developed is probably 5-7 years down the road before operational flights begin. This class booster will be required to facilitate certain unmanned satellite and manned orbital missions envisioned by Iran. Its planned introduction is expected in the 2016-2020 five year plan of Iran space program.

It is believed that the Sepehr will utilizes throughout a fuel of Unsymmetrical Dimethyl hydrazine (UDMH) while its oxidizer is a derivation of (73% Inhibited Red Fuming nitric Acid (IRFNA) & 27% N204 = AK-27S) in all of its main stages. A final BUS stage may utilize all liquid or solid and liquid propulsion. Its performance is expected to be in excess of 300 metric tons thrust utilizing six 50 metric ton thrust engines with a separate first and second stage set of four vernier engines and measure perhaps some 40 meters tall and 3.35 meters in diameter. According to Iran it will be capable of placing an unmanned spacecraft of 700 kilograms payload in a 1,000 kilometer orbit. That low earth orbit crewed spacecraft is believed to be in the 5,650 kilogram range carrying at least a two person crew based on Iranian early design study releases.

There is another potential route for such an orbital space flight crewed booster that Iran may or is in the process of development. On the other hand Iran may have to choose for the development of a heavier space booster similar to what the DPRK is developing for orbital and high earth orbital flights of much heavier payloads than that offer through the Unha-9 performance capability.]


76. Iran Military Forum,

1. Iran plans for manned space flight by 2018 while dismissing monkey business claims, Arabian Aerospace Online News Servives, February 7, 2013, p.1.

2. HTTP:// 2-27-2013, p1, & 3-5-2013,& news,1-21-2013, pp 1-4 along with May 2012 background information.

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Page last modified: 10-02-2020 18:46:39 ZULU