A homegrown satellite, named after a renowned Iranian polymath, was launched into orbit on Tuesday by a Russian rocket.
The Soyuz rocket lifted off as scheduled at 8:52 a.m. Moscow time (10:22 a.m. Tehran time) from the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The remote-sensing Khayyam satellite, named after the 11th century Persian mathematician, astronomer, poet and philosopher, Omar Khayyam, entered orbit successfully about nine minutes after the launch.
The Iranian Space Agency (ISA) received the first telemetry data sent the Khayyam satellite at its Mahdasht base.
Telemetry is the collection of measurements and onboard instrument readings required to deduce the health and status of all of the subsystems on the satellite.
Yuri Borisov, the head of Russia’s state space corporation Cosmodrome, hailed the launch as an “important landmark” in cooperation between Moscow and Tehran, AP reported.
Iranian national television aired footage of the launch live, noting that the country’s telecommunications minister attended the liftoff in Kazakhstan. Tehran said the satellite will help improve productivity in the agriculture sector, survey water resources, manage natural disasters, confront deforestation and monitor border areas.
The ISA said the satellite would provide high-resolution surveillance images with a one-meter-per-pixel definition.
Iranian officials have said the satellite will be used for environmental monitoring and will remain fully under Iran’s control.
In a Sunday statement, the ISA rejected reports that Moscow might maintain control of the satellite temporality to use it in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
According to authorities, no other country will have access to information the satellite gathers and it would be used for civilian purposes only.
Iran’s space program has both civilian and military aspects.
Earlier this year, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) launched its second homegrown satellite into a low Earth orbit, nearly two years after the launch of its first military satellite.