“We hope to sign the satellite launch contract by the middle of April. If the contract is signed, the launch may take place at the end of 2018,” said Leonid Macridenko, the head of the Russian Space Monitoring Systems, Information & Control and Electromechanical Complexes (VNIIEM), according to the Russian news agency TASS.
Back in the 12th Russian International Aviation and Space Show (known by its Russian acronym MAKS) held in Moscow in August 2015, the Iranian company of Bonyan Danesh Shargh signed a preliminary agreement on building the system with the Russian companies of NPK BARL and VNIIEM, Press TV reported.
Under the agreement, signed in the presence of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and Federal Space Agency Director Igor Komarov, the Russian corporations will help the Iranian company create a remote-sensing system which can be employed for collecting information about the Earth’s surface, atmosphere and oceans.
According to the agreement, Bonyan Danesh Shargh will be the operating company, NPK BARL will build and adapt the system’s ground infrastructure, and VNIIEM is responsible for building and launching the satellite with a Russian Soyuz carrier rocket and putting it into the Earth’s orbit.
Iran has successfully sent several domestically-made satellites into orbit during the past few years and it also sent a monkey into space aboard a domestically-developed bio-capsule codenamed Pishgam (Pioneer) in January 2013. In December 2013, it sent another monkey, called Fargam (Auspicious), into space and retrieved it safe and sound back on earth.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the 24 founding members of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) which was set up in 1959.