TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Chairman of Iran’s Science and Technology University Jabbar Ali Zakeri said on Monday the university will accept PhD students in satellite engineering studies in the new academic year.
"The IUST already has postgraduate students in that major, helping considerable improvement in the capability of Iranian elites and scientists in the area of designing and building satellites,” Zakeri said.
He said the university has acquired considerable achievements including the design of the satellites Zafar 1 and 2, which are about to be launched into space.
Chairman of Iran Information Technology Organization Morteza Barai said Zafar 1 will be first launched into space, but if any complications arise, Zafar 2 will be its replacement.
Telecommunications Minister Muhammad Javad Azari Jahromi said on Sunday the two-newly constructed satellites have passed pre-launch tests and would be transported to the nation’s space center later in the day for eventual launch.
Officials have not said when they will launch the satellites, but Iran often coordinates its launches with national holidays. It will celebrate the 41st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution next month.
Media reports said the 90-kilogram (200-pound) Zafar satellites each have four high-resolution color cameras and will monitor and transmit data on natural resources as well as agricultural and environmental developments.
The Zafar 1 satellite, which will be placed 500 kilometers above the earth’s surface, can orbit the planet 16 times a day, each taking 90 minutes.
Iran has sent several satellites into orbit over the past decade, and in 2013 it launched a monkey into space.
The country launched its first locally-built satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009. The country also sent its first bio-capsule containing living creatures into space in February 2010, using Kavoshgar (Explorer)-3 carrier.
In February 2015, Iran placed its domestically-made Fajr (Dawn) satellite into orbit, which is capable of taking and transmitting high-quality photos to stations on Earth.
In January 2019, the Payam (Message) satellite was launched into space with an aim to collect environmental information; however, technical problems that occurred during the final stage of the launch prevented the spacecraft from reaching orbit.