TEHRAN: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran is working on a three-stage rocket to carry a satellite 1,000 kilometres (more than 600 miles) into space, Fars news agency reported on Thursday.
"The country`s scientists are working on a three-stage rocket that will take us to 1,000 kilometres," Ahmadinejad, quoted by Fars, told a local television in the western city of Hamedan.
He said the rocket`s engines would have a thrust of between 120 and 140 tonnes, four times greater than the rocket thrust used to launch Iran`s first satellite into space in February 2009.
"Last time, we sent a satellite to 250 kilometres ... Next year it will be sent to 700 kilometres, and the year after that to 1,000 kilometres," he said.
The launch of Iran`s first satellite, named Omid, stirred a wave of criticism from Western countries which fear the potential uses of the Islamic republic`s ambitious space programme.
BDST: 1817 HRS, August 05, 2010