Friday, October 28, 2005

Iran's Dual-Use Space Ambitions.

One day after the United States lifted the Iran Nonproliferation Act's ban on NASA's use of Russian hardware in space, Russia helps Iran launch its first satellite. It's a reconnaissance satellite that can be used as a spy satellite. (See story here.)

Iran has more ambitions as a space power than having their satellites hitch rides to orbit on Russian rockets. Apparently Iran wants to build their own launch vehicles.
"The next step for Iran, the analysts said, was the launch of a satellite on an indigenous rocket. Iran has developed an enhanced Shihab-3 missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers and was working on a Shihab-4, with a range of 2,500 kilometers. The Shihab-4 was meant to also serve as a space-launch vehicle.

"'The satellite launcher is apparently not ready, but they preferred to send it already rather than wait,' Tal Inbar, a researcher at Israel's Fisher Institute for Strategic Air and Space Studies, said. 'It is clear that Iran plans to use space for military purposes. We are talking about the first capabilities for Iran.'"
(See link above.)

Let's see, Iran launches a spy satellite, is developing a space launch vehicle that can be used as a missile, and is developing a nuclear energy program that can easily be used for nuclear weapons production. And our space ally, Russia, is helping the mullahs with each project.

Thanks for all the help, Vladimir.

-tdr

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