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Iran puts first homemade satellite in orbit

IRAN has sent its first home-built satellite into orbit, Iran's English-language satellite news channel Press TV reported today.

The Omid (Hope) lightweight telecommunications satellite was sent into space by the Iranian-produced satellite carrier Safir 2, the report said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave an order for the launch and hailed the move as a new achievement written in history.

"Dear people of Iran, your children have sent Iran's first domestic satellite into orbit... May this be a step toward... justice and peace," Ahmadinejad said.

"Iran's official presence in space has been added to the pages of history," he added.

Equipped with two frequency bands and eight antennae, Omid will transmit information to and from earth while orbiting the planet 15 times an hour, Press TV said.

The satellite is also equipped with remote sensing, satellite telemetry and geographic information system technology, as well as remote and ground station data processing.

After orbiting for one to three months, Omid will return to earth with data that will help Iranian experts send an operational satellite into space.

Officials at the Iranian Aerospace Organization have announced that they planned to launch another satellite into orbit this summer, according to Press TV.

In February 2007, Iran joined the international space-faring community when it successfully tested a rocket that went into space as part of its planned drive to launch five satellites into orbit by 2010.

Iran has been pursuing a space program for the past few years. In October 2005, Iran's first satellite -- the Russian-made Sina-1-- was put into orbit by a Russian rocket from Plesetsk Cosmodrome.


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