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Iran Develops 'Khayyam' – Spy Satellite Launched From Soyuz Rocket

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    Iran Develops 'Khayyam' – Spy Satellite Launched From Soyuz Rocket

    After successfully launching the Khayyam spy satellite on August 9 2022, Iran is reportedly now continuing talks with Russia regarding support for building a new Khayyam satellite, which is known as a remote sensing satellite. 

    Discussions between Iran and Russia include the development of technical specifications for the new Khayyam satellite, along with procurement plans for small geostationary satellites and telecommunications satellites.

    This was reported by the Russian news agency TASS, citing Iran's Mehr News Agency. Russia successfully launched the Khayyam satellite for Iran with a Soyuz rocket on August 9, 2022. Khayyam is a Russian-made Kanopus-V Earth observation satellite with a resolution of 3.9 feet (1.2 meters). The satellite Khayyam is named after the famous Persian poet and mathematician Omar Khayyam.

    Russia's space industry suffered major business losses following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Russia has lost commercial launch contracts and space partners, while its space budget is likely to be further hit by economic sanctions and other impacts of the war.

    Since then, the country has been looking for new customers and partners. This comes from Iran and North Korea, which incidentally have long been under sanctions from the US and other Western countries.

    Iran's big space plan is to develop and launch new satellites, including a constellation of 10 small satellites called the General Soleimani Satellite System.

    The Khayyam satellite is a high-resolution imaging satellite. The satellite was designed by the Iranian Space Agency and built by Russian companies VNIIEM and NPK Barl in a contract that includes technology transfer and the provision of technological assistance in the design of the future Khayyam family of satellites.

    Khayyam is a 600-kilogram satellite located in orbit 500 kilometers (310 miles) above the Earth's surface. The main goal is to collect information and images from the earth's surface with a resolution of 1.2 meters.

    According to the Iranian Space Agency, the lifespan of this satellite is estimated at five years, the first four months of which will be spent undergoing testing.

    The successful launch and placement of the Khayyam satellite in orbit is an important milestone in the development of bilateral relations and paves the way for further expansion and strengthening of cooperation between the two countries in the space industry. 

    Khayyam's launch comes just three weeks after President Vladimir Putin and Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pledged to work together against the West.

    The Washington Post reported that US officials are concerned about the nascent space cooperation between Russia and Iran, especially that the satellites will provide Iran with surveillance of the Middle East and potential military targets there, as well as help Russia in Ukraine.

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