Mahmoud Vaezi, the Iranian Minister for Communications and Information Technology, announced on May 8, 2017, that two Iranian-made satellites are almost ready for launch.
“Now, we have two satellites ready to be launched, one being Amir Kabir sensing satellite and the other being Nahid telecommunication satellite,” said Minister Vaezi to Iranian news agency ISNA.
Minister Vaezi said that work on the two satellites was “over 97%” done and that their launch should be expected in the coming few months.
Nahid-2 (Nahid is Farsi for Venus) is the successor to the Nahid-1 satellite that was expected to have been launched by March 2017, but as yet is still awaiting a launch date.
Nahid-1 was originally scheduled to be launched in 2012, and has folding solar panels. Nahid-1 is designed and jointly manufactured by the Elm-O-Sanat University Metro Station in Tehran and the Iranian Space Agency’s Aerospace Research Institute. Nahid-1 will weigh about 55 kilograms and operate in the Ku-band.
Nahid-2 will weigh approximately 100 kilograms and will be 64 by 64 centimetres in size, and is supposed to be placed in geosynchronous orbit (approximately 36,000 kilometres altitude) in 2018. SpaceWatch Middle East reported in March 2017 that the Iran Space Agency has applied for five orbital slots in that orbit with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Amir Kabir-1, also known as AUTSAT-1, is a remote sensing satellite that weighs 70-80kg with a resolution of about 80 metres, and is designed to provide post-disaster surveillance (such as earthquakes) and agricultural applications. Amir Kabir-1 is designed by the Amir-Kabir University of Technology, and is being manufactured by the university and by a company called Iran Aerospace Industries Organisation.
Minister Vaezi’s remarks come almost a week after Hassan Hadadpour, head of the Iran Space Agency’s Aerospace Research Institute (ARI), told Iranian reporters that Nahid-2 is nearly ready for launch.
As previously reported, Iranian officials have a track record of making public announcements about the imminent launch of certain satellites by a particular date, only for that date to come and go without any launch. However, both Minister Vaezi and ARI’s Hadadpour publicly stating that Nahid-2 is nearly ready for launch could indicate that this particular system may indeed be ready to be put into orbit.