Iran has placed a domestic research satellite into orbit for the first time, ushering in an era of independence in its space program.
Press TV has received confirmation that the first domestically launched Iranian satellite has been placed into orbit via two carrier rockets.
Omid (meaning 'Hope' in Persian) was sent into space by the Iranian-produced satellite carrier Safir 2 early on Tuesday, Press TV correspondent Saman Kojouri reported from the launching site. Safir 2 is an upgraded model of carrier Safir 1.
Equipped with two frequency bands and eight antennae, Omid will transmit information to and from earth while orbiting the planet 15 times per day.
The lightweight telecommunications satellite is equipped with remote sensing, satellite telemetry and geographic information system technology as well as remote and ground station data processing.
Omid is a research satellite that has been designed for gathering information and testing equipment. After orbiting for one to three months, Omid will return to earth, returning with data that will help Iranian experts send an operational satellite into space.
Omid carries experimental satellite control devices, communications equipment and power supply systems to a distance of 250 to 350 kilometers from the earth's atmosphere.
The launch of Omid comes amid celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In a Tuesday message, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad congratulated the nation on the new aerospace achievement.
"Dear people of Iran, your children have sent Iran's first domestic satellite into orbit... May this be a step toward... justice and peace," he said. "Iran's official presence in space has been added to the pages of history."
In August 2007, Tehran announced plans to carry out the domestic satellite launch after testing its first domestically-produced satellite carrier Safir 1.
Head of the Iranian Aerospace Organization, Reza Taqipour, told Press TV that Iran has plans to put a series of satellites into orbit by 2010 that will improve national disaster management programs and the country's telecommunications network.
Omid is the third Iranian-made satellite to be sent into space. Russia launched Iran's first satellite in 2005. Three years later, another satellite, which had been jointly designed by Iran, China and Thailand, was also sent into orbit. So far, only eight countries have launched domestically-made satellites into orbit.
The recent completion of the semi-domestic research satellite Mesbah is another success added to the accomplishments of Iranian aerospace experts.
Mesbah, which is ready for launch into outer space, has been equipped with a store and forward communications receiver that gathers information from various parts of the planet and then forwards the transmission.
Iranian scientists have also finished designing a satellite called Besharat, which is to be launched in a joint effort with the members of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).
Tehran also plans to send its first astronaut to space by 2021.