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16 January 2012 - 22:04

IIran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi has announced plans for launching a satellite into space as well as kicking off several military projects in February.

General Vahidi said the projects will be launched during the Ten Days of Dawn (February 1-10) celebrations, marking the 34th anniversary of the 1978 victory of Iran's Islamic Revolution.

The Iranian defense minister added that several projects related to the country's space infrastructures will become operational during February's anniversary events.

On November 12, Vahidi announced that Iran is set to launch into space three domestically manufactured satellites dubbed Fajr (Dawn), Navid (Harbinger) and Tolou (Rise) in the course of the current and the next Iranian calendar years.

The current Iranian calendar year ends on March 20.

He said that Fajr would blast into space with the thrusting power of 'Safir-e-Fajr' satellite carrier while Navid and Tolou would be mounted on Iran's Simorgh (Phoenix) carrier for lift-off.

General Vahidi also stated that Iran's space explorations are meant to probe the cosmos and unravel the mysteries of the universe.

Earlier reports said that Navid satellite weighs 50 kilograms and can take pictures in low altitudes of about 250 to 375 kilometers from the earth.

Iran's aerospace officials had previously spoken of the 2012 launch of Zafar (Triumph) -- another satellite that weighs 90 kilograms and is scheduled to revolve around the globe in an elliptical orbit of 500 kilometers.

Iran launched its first domestically-produced satellite Omid (Hope) in 2009, an act which made it the ninth country having the capability to launch satellites.

On June 20, 2011, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the country has gained access to the technology of developing various satellites and will soon launch larger satellites that will be placed in circular orbits at an altitude of nearly 35,000 kilometers (21,748 miles).

Iran is one of the 24 founding members of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of the Outer Space, which was established in 1959.

Tehran also plans to launch the country's first manned mission into space by 2019.
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