(New Scientist Space) The report quotes Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairman of Iran's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, as saying that a space launcher has been assembled and "will lift off soon", carrying an Iranian satellite. [...]
"This has been anticipated for some time - the Iranians have been saying they will launch satellites" says Doug Richardson, editor of Jane's Missiles and Rockets.
Their first aim might be reconnaissance. "They are concerned about what capabilities Israel has, and the only way they can find out is by observing from space," says Bhupendra Jasani of King's College in London, UK, an expert in the military applications of space. "Clearly they can't fly aircraft, that would be a violation of airspace, and they would be shot down very quickly."
With Iran entering the field of space, Israel will no doubt up the antie by probably sending astronauts into the heavens via kosher power. This will probably encourage hawkish space race in the middle east, which could easily spill over in the west, especially after China's ASAT test.
Either way, military space race may benefit humanity in the long run, as long as it remains "cold."
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