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Iran Releases Plans for Manned Spacecraft

An graphic released of an Iranian space capsule capable of carrying humans to space. Via ISNA.

An graphic released of an Iranian space capsule capable of carrying humans to space. Via ISNA.

After Iran launched a monkey in a suborbital rocket earlier this year, they are now setting their sights on sending humans to orbit, according to the Iranian news agency ISNA. The news release says researchers at the University of Haj Nasir “have designed and built a manned spacecraft,” but only images of basic designs were released.

The spacecraft appears to be a classic capsule design, and is capable of carrying “one to three people to lower orbits for several hours. This type of aircraft is made up of several modules.”

The researchers, Leila Khalajzadeh and Mehran Shams, were reported as saying in their presentation that the capsule design is the most economical type of spacecraft.

The Israeli news site Hayadan reports that Tal Inbar, head of the Space and UAV Research Center at Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies in Israel, says that no technical data was released from Iran on the new spacecraft designs, nor have they provided information about the launch vehicle required to send the capsule to space.

According to details released earlier by the Iranian space agency, they want to launch the first sub-orbital spaceflight with an Iranian on board by 2016 at an altitude below 200 kilometers as preparation for the eventual orbital spaceflight.

Iranian participation in the future Chinese space station program has also been discussed.

Reportedly, much of Iran’s technological equipment derives from modified Chinese and North Korean technology. In 2008, Iran successfully launched a two-stage all solid-fuel sub-orbital sounding rocket called the Kavoshgar-1 (Explorer-1), for the first sub-orbital test flight from the Shahroud space launch complex. Later, in 2010-2013, at least three animal flight tests were sent on suborbital launches, some flights with outright failures, others with varying degrees of success.

Sources: ISNA, Hayadan

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • bdlaacmm August 29, 2013, 5:55 PM

    Looks like a cheap Soyuz knock-off.

  • justletmepostdammit August 30, 2013, 6:18 AM

    Anyone still remembers the Qaher-313 jet?

  • taz August 30, 2013, 3:25 AM

    looks can be deceiving! and the Qaher-313 jet is a secret weapon just like that drone that iran captured mate!

  • Benoit Morrissette August 30, 2013, 9:58 AM

    Iran did not launch a monkey in space…

    • Peaceforall1998 August 30, 2013, 12:23 PM

      yes, iran did so.

    • taz August 31, 2013, 2:56 AM

      Hello Frenchman/Belgian?
      The whole world was proved that Iran sent a monkey into space and u are still confused ?
      It could be because the press used the wrong picture of an earlier picture of a failed mission

    • Dav_Daddy September 2, 2013, 5:01 AM
  • Peaceforall1998 August 30, 2013, 12:24 PM

    Iran did capture the RQ-170 drone, Obama asked if he can have it back.

  • Dan Sanderson August 30, 2013, 8:22 AM

    Was this illustration created using SketchUp?

  • solargus August 30, 2013, 10:30 AM

    Given Iran’s history and stated goals, which do you honestly think is more
    likely:

    A) that Iran has “seen the light,” as it were, of secularism and scientific exploration and decided to enter the 21st century as a space faring nation, or
    B) their development of rockets, supposedly for the purpose of carrying
    astronauts, is nothing more than cover for a program to develop delivery
    platforms for nuclear weapons?

    The idea of an Iranian human space flight program would be laughable were
    option B not so profoundly perilous (not to mention highly likely) to the entire
    planet! That government has about as much interest in space exploration as a pack of wolves do in calculus. They are (mis)guided by a singular motivation: the pursuit of a global Islamic theocracy.

    It’s time we see this ruse for the subterfuge it is.

  • Peaceforall1998 September 1, 2013, 9:38 AM

    I don’t know about the theocracy, but it’s not against science in Iran. In Iran all school teach science along with evolution theory, DNA, etc..

  • Benoit Morrissette September 1, 2013, 6:01 PM

    Neither, keep guessing. It was a sub-orbital flight. Anything higher than 10 feet is sub-orbital. They just took a russian-made missile, put a monkey in the warhead and launch it straight up. No “space age” expertise here…

  • taz September 2, 2013, 7:22 PM

    Ok French/Belgian sounding name
    You are so confident that it was a Russian missile
    A monkey was sent in space or not?
    Are u implying Russian missiles go only sub orbital
    Be careful otherwise they will make you a volunteer

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