TEHRAN - In a ceremony on Tuesday Iran unveiled a mock prototype of its first domestically manufactured spacecraft that is capable of taking astronauts into space. The spaceship, built on a one-to-one scale, was put on display in an exhibition on Iran's latest achievements in space industry.
According to the aerospace officials, the spacecraft will be launched into orbit in the next Iranian year, which starts on March 21, 2015.
Several high-ranking officials including President Hassan Rouhani, Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan and Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi were present in the ceremony.
Several other indigenous space attainments were also put on display in the exhibition.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Rouhani underscored the country's progress in aerospace, genetics, medical, and other scientific fields, saying, "We do not and will not take permission from anyone to make progress in science and knowledge."
Referring to the enemies' attempts to seek excuses to pressure Iran and block the country's scientific development, he said his government is and will continue efforts to defuse the enemies' plots.
The Iranian government will prove that the enemies' excuses and allegations are baseless, he said.
Rouhani said his administration attaches "special significance" to the space research programs and the applied projects on satellites and spacecraft.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran will achieve new successes in the aerospace field within the next two years," the president added.
Rouhani also noted that the pace of progress in Iran's space technology will accelerate following some changes in the administration.
He also touched upon Iran's achievements in the fields of nuclear technology, saying, "We have made significant progress in the nuclear field, but the negotiations receive so much attraction and hue and cry that they overshadow these activities. Otherwise, we are running at a higher speed."
Iran has in recent years made great breakthroughs in manufacturing satellites thanks to the efforts made by its local scientists.
Earlier this month, Iran successfully launched its fourth domestic satellite into orbit. The satellite, named Fajr, was launched aboard a domestically manufactured satellite carrier, Safir-e Fajr.
One of the 24 founding members of the United Nations' Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, set up in 1959, Iran is the fourth country globally that is going to independently send astronauts into orbit, following Russia, U.S. and China.
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