Iran this week announced that it was preparing to display three new communications satellites in February, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, Nov. 10, 2009).
The specific dates for the satellite launches remain unclear.
Iran's program for launching its own satellites has drawn concerns from the global community, as technology used to place orbiters into space can also be applied to ballistic missiles. The Middle Eastern state put its first indigenously produced satellite into orbit in February 2009.
One of the new satellites, Mesbah-2, is still being assembled. It "is a low-orbit telecommunication satellite for storing and sending messages," said Iranian Communications Minister Reza Taghipour.
The other two completed satellites -- Toloo and Ya Mahdi -- would be used respectively for "reconnaissance" and for assessing photographic and telecommunications devices, he said (Agence France-Presse/Google News, Jan. 20).