Iran successfully test-launched a space tug capable of shifting satellites between orbits. The Iranian Ministry of Information and Telecommunication Technologies was cited claiming that the launch resulted in success.
The Saman test spacecraft was built by the Iranian Space Research Center and launched by the country’s Defense Ministry. The test was carried out thanks to the cooperation of the Iranian Space Institute and the Ministry of Defense. It will be used to transfer satellites from lower orbits to higher ones.
The Saman Orbital Transmission Block engineering sample subsystem was previously tested in close to orbital conditions. The Iranian Space Institute noted that the Shaman system, developed directly in Iran, was first introduced in 2017.
Hassan Salarieh, chief of the Islamic Republic’s space agency, told state TV that officials “hope to use and test the main tug in near future.”
Iran has long pursued a space program claiming that it is aimed at peaceful purposes. However, the US fears it could be used to advance Iranian ballistic missile program. In June Tehran had launched a solid-fuel rocket into space and in August a Russian rocket successfully launched an Iranian Khayyam satellite into orbit. It’s named after Omar Khayyam, a Persian scientist who lived in the 11th and 12th centuries. Iran plans to put into operation three more versions of the satellite launched earlier this year by Russia, as reported, an official representative of the Iranian government said on August 12. In April 2020, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard also revealed its own secret space program by successfully launching a satellite into orbit.
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