TEHRAN, Nov. 10 (Mehr News Agency) - Iran will launch the Mesbah communications satellite by the end of March 2011, the director of Iranian Aerospace Industries announced on Tuesday.
The low-orbit satellite will be launched from a launch pad in Italy, Mahdi Farahi told the Mehr News Agency.
The satellite is expected to operate for a period of three years and its services will be accessible to Iran as well as countries in Europe and the Americas, Farahi added.
He said the satellite's mission is to collect and store data and transmit the information back to Earth.
In February 2003, Iran and Italy agreed to cooperate in the construction and launch of the Mesbah satellite. At that time, the first phase of the project, which resulted in the construction of a laboratory model of the satellite, had been completed. The Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology and Italy's Carlo Gavazzi Space company were joint partners in the project.
Iran launched its first domestically manufactured satellite, which was named Omid (hope), into orbit on February 2, 2009, using a modified domestically manufactured long-range missile.
The satellite was designed to circle the Earth 15 times every 24 hours and to send reports to Iran's space center. It broadcast over two frequency bands and had eight antennas for transmitting data.
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