9 Aug 2022 12:55

Russia's LV launched from Baikonur puts Iranian satellite into orbit - Roscosmos

MOSCOW. Aug 9 (Interfax) - Iran's Khayyam Earth remote sensing satellite launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Tuesday has successfully been placed into orbit, the Russian State Space Corporation Roscosmos said.

"The Iranian Earth remote sensing satellite Khayyam has successfully been placed into its designated orbit by the Russian Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle, equipped with a Fregat upper stage, which lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome," Roscosmos said.

Roscosmos chief Yury Borisov, for his part, has described this launch as "an important milestone for Russian-Iranian bilateral cooperation."

"As ever before, today Russia is open to cooperation in the field of space exploration with all interested countries and partners. I am confident that the space issue must remain outside of any political trends and serve for the benefit of all humankind and world science," Borisov said.

Apart from Iran's satellite the Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle carried another 16 small satellites.

Earlier on Tuesday, the press service of the Kemerovo region's government said that the Soyuz launch vehicle will also put into orbit the Kuzbass-300 satellite, developed by Kuzbass State Technical University scientists together with university and school students.

"The nanosatellite weighs only four kilograms. It is equipped with video cameras and electronic systems, which will enable children to monitor the environmental situation in the region from space. School pupils and university students will carry out Earth remote sensing via the Mission Control Center of the Kuzbass State Technical University," the press service said.

The Soyuz-2.1b took off at 8:52 a.m.

The Washington Post said in June 2021 that the United States and some countries of the Middle East are concerned that an advanced satellite system that Russia was supplying to Iran could greatly advance Tehran's surveillance in the region and beyond. Sources said that under the agreement, Russia would provide the Iranians with a Russian-made Kanopus-V satellite equipped with a high-resolution camera. The launch could happen within months, they said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin later dismissed these claims as "nonsense."