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Iran's Omid satellite reaching end of life

03/11/09 Source: Press TV

Iran's home-designed telecommunications satellite 'Omid' is drawing closer to the end of its successful 50-day mission into space.

Tehran placed its domestically-made satellite into orbit on February 3 -- joining a small group of countries that have the ability of both producing satellites and sending them into space using domestic launchers.

Iran is slated to launch three more satellites by 2010

Omid (Hope) is designed to circle the Earth 15 times every 24 hours and to transmit data via two frequency bands and eight antennas to an Iranian space station.

Fathollah Ommi, an Iranian space scientist who supervised the Omid space project, said Wednesday that the light-weight satellite will go up in flames in 13 days with a full mission accomplished.

"Omid was launched on a 50-day mission to test satellite-based orbicular guidance systems as well as remote sensing, satellite telemetry, and geographic information system technology," said Ommi.

Satellite telemetry includes automatic measurement and transmission of data for recording and analysis.

Spacecrafts commonly burn up in the Earth's atmosphere at the end of their lifetime, removing waste and safeguarding their neighboring spacecrafts against possible damage.

Russia's unmanned Progress spacecrafts routinely end their spacefaring lives as fireballs upon completion of mission.

Iranian scientists have been working on a space program for at least a decade. Omid is the third Iranian-made satellite to be sent into space.

Early efforts involved co-operation with Moscow. A Russian rocket launched Iran's first satellite, Sina-1, which carried photographic and telecommunications equipments in 2005.

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