Source Pravda.Ru

Iran launches its third satellite into space

Iran launched its third satellite into space on Feb. 3. The satellite is called Navid-e  Elm-o Sanat, which translates as "Herald of Science and Industry."

The spacecraft successfully entered Earth's orbit with altitudes from 250 to 370 kilometers, Itar-Tass reports. The mission of the satellite will last for 18 months. The goal of the mission is to study the surface of the planet.

The previous two satellites - Omid (Hope) and Rasad (Observer) were launched in February 2009 and in June 2011 successfully. The Rasad-1 satellite, designed by Malek Ashtar University (Teheran), was made to take pictures of planet Earth from altitudes of up to 260 kilometers. The spacecraft transmits images and other information for weather forecasts.

Two other Iranian satellites have already been built too - Tolu (Sunrise) and Mesbah (Torch). They are awaiting their launch.

Two years ago, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad set a goal for the Space Agency of Iran to conduct a manned spaceflight before the end of the current decade. Iran already plans to lunch a biocapsule with an ape on board. The launch was scheduled to take place in October 2011, but it had to be delayed indefinitely.