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Iran set to launch telecommunications satellite on Sunday

Two versions of the satellite have been produced in case the first launch fails.

Iran is all set to launch a new satellite on Sunday after the planned launch on Saturday was delayed for unknown reasons, a government minister has announced.

“The Zafar satellite will be placed in orbit today from Semnan at a speed of 7,400km per hour,” Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi, the Minister of Information and Communications Technology was quoted as saying by IRIB news agency.

Development of the “Zafar” (Victory) satellite began three years ago, said Morteza Barari, head of the country’s national space agency, on Saturday. The 113-kg satellite will be launched by a Simorgh rocket.

Information about the new satellite will be “clearly publicised,” according to Jahromi. Zafar will be used for telecommunications, imagery and “picking up space signals.” The lifespan of the satellite is one year and six months.

Once the satellite is in orbit, the first picture that it will transmit will be of Soleimani, minister Azari-Jahromi said on Sunday.

Iran carried out at least two failed satellite launches last year. Iran launched its first satellite Omid (Hope) in 2009 and the Rasad (Observation) satellite in June 2011.