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Iranian Space Program Falls to Earth

The Omid satellite will crash in the next few days after only a few weeks in orbit.

by
Ardeshir Arian

Bio

March 25, 2009 - 12:41 am
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Iran made a lot of fuss about its so-called “homegrown” Omid (Hope) satellite, launched during the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. Now it looks like it’s going to crash back to earth.

A few days ago, Iran’s space officials stated in a surprise announcement that the satellite will be ending its “successful” mission around March 25. What they meant to say is that their satellite has gone rogue and cannot be controlled anymore.

This claim of success by Iran’s officials was not anticipated because they did not mention the short life span of their pride and joy, which was launched on February 3. Some Iranian websites say that because of Omid’s battery life of two months, it was doomed to destruct from the start. Now the question is how that could be possible given that most satellites use solar panels as their basic source of energy production.

The breaking news from Iran came only after the information was released by NASA that the Omid satellite was losing altitude and was about to enter the earth’s atmosphere. Omid was placed in a 312-kilometer orbit above the earth, where the optimum apogee for this kind of satellite is around 378 km (the perigee was 245 km). The Iranian bird lost about 29 km in altitude in the first 40 days.

Iranian sources tell PJ Media it was because of this revelation by the Americans that Iranian space officials announced the news in a hasty effort to save face, while claiming a huge success and pretending that everything was going according to plan.

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