0938 GMT January 17, 2022
Addressing a gathering of religious scholars in the northern Iranian city of Qom on Thursday, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh added, “From now on, Iran will be able to launch a great number of satellites using low-cost engines,” Tasnim News Agency reported.
Elaborating on a recent test on an Iranian satellite-carrying engine operating on solid fuel, the commander said, “This test has been successfully carried out for the first time” in the country.
“During the past two years, all the tested Iranian satellite-carrying rockets operated on liquid fuel. But in this test, we succeeded to use solid-fuel engine with a 66-ton thrust,” he added, Press TV reported.
Brigadier General Hajizadeh said Iran’s new satellite carriers are made of nonmetal and composite fuselage, which increases the rocket’s energy and leads to considerable savings.
In February 2021, the Iranian Defense Ministry launched a new satellite carrier with a powerful engine running on solid fuel and capable of lifting satellites toward operational orbits 500 kilometers into space.
The homegrown satellite-carrying rocket, dubbed Zoljenah, can carry a satellite weighing 220 kilograms.
Iran has already three operational satellite carriers, namely Zoljenah, Sarir, and Soroush.
Sarir is capable of carrying a payload of one ton into a height of 1,000 kilometers.
In late December 2020, the Defense Ministry announced that it had successfully launched a domestically-built satellite-carrying rocket named Simorgh (Phoenix), sending three research devices into space.
“In this space research mission, for the first time, three research devices were launched simultaneously at an altitude of 470 kilometers and at a speed of 7,350 meters per second,” said a spokesman for the ministry, Ahmad Hosseini.
The United States has expressed concern that Iran’s satellite launches are part of an effort by the Islamic Republic to develop ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Rejecting U.S. claims, Iran says its satellite launches and rocket tests do not have a military component.
Last December, condemning White House’s remarks, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh stressed that scientific and research progress, including in the field of aerospace, is the Iranian nation’s inalienable right and that such meddlesome statements would not break Iranians’ resolve to progress in that field.
“No resolution prevents the Islamic Republic of Iran from continuing its space program and related experiments, including in the field of satellite-carriers, thus, citing UNSC Resolution 2231 is purely fallacious and fundamentally untrue,” he added.
“As previously stated, the Islamic Republic of Iran has the right to use peaceful technologies in its path on scientific-research development according to international standards, and in so doing, it will not await the opinions of some countries that seek to impose their dictates,” Khatibzadeh added.