November 14, 2012 - 1:00am

TEHRAN, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- President of Iran's Amirkabir University of Technology Alireza Rahaei announced on Wednesday the country is preparing to launch a new homemade satellite, called Nahid (Venus), into orbit in the next three months, semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Researchers at the university have completed the industrial phases of the project and now are working on the launch phase, said Rahaei without elaborating on the mission or type of the satellite.

On Monday, Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander, Mohammad-Ali Jafari, said that the Islamic republic would test a new satellite-carrier rocket in the near future, Tehran Times daily reported.

Jafari said that IRGC experts had managed to complete the project to manufacture the rocket which could carry 100 kg of solid fuel and could be used to send satellites into geostationary orbits 35,786 km above the equator.

In March, Iran's Aerospace Industry Organization Director Mehdi Farahi announced that Iran planned to send satellites into geostationary orbits after the end of Iran's Fifth Development Plan in 2015, according to the daily.

Iran's Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (2010-2015) is part of the 20-Year Outlook Plan (2005-2025), which is the country's main blueprint for long-term sustainable growth.

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

In February 2012, Iran launched an observation satellite into orbit. The spacecraft, named Navid (Herald), weighed 50 kg and could take pictures in low attitudes of about 250 to 375 km.


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