Since 1957, Iran has had a fascination with space. It collaborated with 17 other countries to establish the UN’s Ad Hoc Committee for International Cooperation in Space back in the 1950s. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which continues to serve as the foundation of international space law, counts Iran among its signatories. Tehran did sign the pact, but it never gave it its official seal of approval.
When Iran began working with Russia and China on the communication satellite “Mesbah,” it was clear that Iran was making serious efforts. Since then, Iran has made great strides in space exploration and has advanced the technology of its drones, satellites, and missiles. The sources claim that Iran is now committed to using a new launch system to initiate more satellites into orbit, with a possibility of crewed missions.
Iran’s ambassador to the UN stated that all humans share a common heritage with space in 2021. He emphasized the necessity of exploring and using the area only for peaceful purposes. He said in his UN speech that all states should have equal access to and freedom to explore and utilize space.
Taking A Peek At Iranian Space Endeavors
Iran announced at the beginning of November that the Qaim 100 satellite launcher had undergone a successful test. One hundred and eighty kilograms (kg) of satellites can be launched using the launch system, which is exclusively made in Iran. This conventional launcher is a three-stage, solid-fuel suborbital satellite carrier.
Iran is confident that it can launch satellites 500 kilometers into orbit. This would be close to a low-earth orbit, which is ordinarily 200–300 km away from the planet. Iran used a Safir rocket to place the Omid satellite into low-Earth orbit.
Can we believe Iran’s assertion that its space exploration is peaceful?
Iran has maintained that its space program is only intended for peaceful purposes. However, official pronouncements linking the country’s ballistic missile activities to the development of space-launch rockets cast doubt on these assertions.
Officials are growing unconvinced about Iran’s space explorations in light of recent threats Iran has made following its collision with the industrial Pacific Zircon ship in the Gulf of Oman. To destroy the commercial boat, Iran was known to have used a Shahed-136 drone. Many experts contend that Iran must cooperate on a global scale to prevent misunderstandings regarding the launches Iran conducts.
They can avert material loss if they permit observation by various nations. The problem is that if countries like the US, China, or Russia don’t know what something is made of, they will attempt to shoot it down if its orbit traverses over their corresponding limits or if its path exhibits ballistic characteristics.
Analyzing Iran’s space missions highs and lows for 2022
According to official reports, Iran has developed the technological infrastructure for designing, developing, launching, and maintaining satellites in low-Earth orbit (LEO). For the benefit of those who are unaware, LEO satellites are found at an altitude of under 2,000 kilometers. Speaking of LEO satellites, Iran has deployed a number of them. This includes the Sina-1, which Russia built and launched.
Other LEO satellites currently in orbit include the Omid, Navid, Noor-1, and Noor-2. Regrettably, the head of Iran’s space exploration agency has asserted that none of Iran’s locally produced satellites has impressive capabilities. The journey served as a prelude to more advanced satellites, which will be more beneficial and may stay in orbit for extended periods.
According to the sources, the major drawbacks have been launch delays and administration gaps. However, the previous few launch attempts, which Iran had hoped would be successful, were a complete failure. As a result, Iran still has much to learn on the technological front, and a little diver collaboration could boost its highly ambitious space program.