Earlier in September, Iran reported an explosion in its space center before a satellite launch, the third failure involving a rocket in a year.
Iran plans to send three satellites into orbit in the next three months, Iran’s state TV reported.
According to state television, quoting the head of Iran’s space agency, Morteza Barari, the satellites will transmit data for civilian purposes such as navigation, agriculture and the environment.
Iran attempted to launch satellites into orbit in January and February of this year, but those launches all failed. The January launch involved the Simorgh rocket, and sought to take a domestically-developed environmental data-gathering satellite into orbit. The February launch involved a Safir rocket.
Iran has been working on the development of space rockets and satellites for over a decade, launching its first home-grown satellite into orbit in 2009, and successfully launching a biological payload into orbit in 2011. In late 2013, Iran launched a monkey into orbit, retrieving it after a 15 minute flight. Another satellite was launched in 2015. Iran’s Space Agency has made these advances despite having an extremely modest budget, which reportedly amounted to the equivalent of just $4.6 million during the 2017 fiscal year.