Iran launches space monitoring centre

Tehran, June 9 (IANS) Iran Sunday opened a new space centre to monitor and observe space objects and satellites passing through the country’s upper atmosphere.

The space centre named “Imam Ja’far Sadeq (PBUH)” in Arak city in the central province of Markazi was inaugurated by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to Fars and IRNA news agencies.

The project aims to provide security for Iran’s space systems as well as monitor moving objects in space, Defence Minister Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said.

“This centre has been inaugurated to maintain the security of Iran’s space and spatial systems since we should constantly monitor spatial objects and satellites passing through the country’s atmosphere,” Vahidi was quoted by Fars news agency as saying.

The centre will use three different methods of radar, electro-optic and radio detection to track and detect space objects, Vahidi said.

The system can also be used by other countries to control their space objects in orbit, he said.

Iran can also exchange data with other countries through this centre, Vahidi added.

In January, Iran sent a live monkey onboard a indigenous rocket named Pishgam (Pioneer) into space. Officials said Iran is also planning to send a man into space.

Iran, a founding member of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, launched its first domestically-made data-processing satellite, the Omid (Hope), in 2009.

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