Russia Launches Advanced Spy Satellite for Iran into Orbit

Russia Launches Advanced Spy Satellite for Iran into Orbit

 The Khayyam satellite was launched Tuesday (9/8) at 1:52 am local time on a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Moscow-administered Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Russian state media TASS reported that the satellite was successful in transmitting telemetry, a technology that allows remote measurement and reporting of information to the designer or operator of the system. 

Iran will soon have advanced spy satellites thanks to Russia's help in launching them into orbit. The Iranian spy satellite launched by Russia was named Khayyam. Kayyam is named after the famous Persian poet and mathematician Omar Khayyam. The Khayyam satellite is a Russian-made Kanopus-V Earth observation satellite that can detect features as small as 3.9 feet or 1.2 meters on the earth's surface.

 "That's a far cry from the quality achieved by US spy satellites or high-end commercial satellite imagery providers, but a substantial improvement over Iran's current capabilities," wrote The Washington Post. "(The Khayyam Satellite) has the potential to provide the most significant benefit. This is Iran's ability to carry out continuous surveillance of its chosen locations, including military facilities in Israel, oil refineries and others, including vital infrastructure in neighboring Gulf states," the letter added. the paper, citing an unnamed Western security official. Prior to the launch of Khayyam, Iran had only two operational satellites in space. 

The satellites are named Sina 1, which was launched for an imaging and communications mission in 2005, and Noor 2, an imaging satellite that took off last March. Russia has been negotiating the Khayyam satellite deal in secret with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for several years, The Washington Post reported in June last year. In the story, The Post noted that Russian experts had traveled to Iran to train ground crews in satellite operations.

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