Iran Becoming a Space Power

SWF PRESS RELEASE

With the success of a domestically-built and -launched satellite in February 2009, the Islamic Republic of Iran became the first Islamic nation and the ninth nation overall to launch its own payload into orbit.

Since that launch, Iran has expanded its activities in space, reporting that it has committed significant funds to its space program, announcing new satellite and rocket plans, as well as promising to put a man in orbit by 2025.

Secure World Foundation (SWF) has issued an Iranian Space Launch Capabilities Fact Sheet with Tiffany Chow as its main author from SWF’s Washington, D.C. office.

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India Wooing Iran With ISRO Satellite Launch Offer

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Delhi reaches out to lonely Tehran, may offer ISRO launch for satellite
Indian Express

New Delhi plans to woo Tehran with offers of greater intelligence sharing, revival of defence training and a possible launch of the latter’s satellite but will remain non-committal on the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.

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Iranians Planning Human Spaceflight Program

The Tehran Times says that Iran is planning to become the latest country to send humans into space:

Iran plans to send astronauts into space and is currently conducting the relevant studies, Communications and Information Technology Minister Reza Taqipour announced on Saturday.

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Iranian President: We’re Now a Space and Nuclear Power

Iranian president declares his country a space and nuclear power
RIA Novosti

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday that pressure from Western powers trying to keep Iran in economic isolation have in fact spurred the country to become a space and nuclear power.

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New International Space Race Heats Up

Michael Belfiore has an excellent roundup of the nations that are leading the way in the new international space race over at Popular Mechanics:

With a flurry of international efforts toward satellite launch capabilities (from home), getting back to the moon and putting citizens in space, some experts say we are looking at a new space race–one focused on total space dominance. And should we be worried? After all, the first space race had at its core a battle for who could build the biggest intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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Iran Joins Space Age as it Lofts Satellite into Orbit

Iran launches own space satellite to mark 30 years since revolution
Times Online

Iran has claimed success in launching its first home-built satellite into orbit, using a rocket which the West believes is part of its long-term ballistic missile programme.

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Iran Joins Exclusive Orbital Club

Iran sparks US concern with satellite rocket launch
AFP

“Iran said it had sent a rocket carrying a dummy satellite into space on Sunday, triggering fresh concern in Washington that the technology could be diverted to ballistic missiles.

The launch is likely to further exacerbate tensions with the West over its nuclear drive, which Iran’s arch-foe Washington and its allies claim is a cover for atomic weapons ambitions.”

Editor’s Note: This will probably make it a bit more difficult for NASA to get an exemption to spend money on Russian Soyuz flights to the International Space Station.  U.S. law bans contracts with Russia and other nations that have been providing technical support for Iran’s nuclear program.

NASA will be heavily dependent upon Russia for transportation to the station after it retires the space shuttle in 2010. The shuttle’s successor, Orion, is not to set to fly until 2014 or 2015.