Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday inaugurated the country's first home-built space centre which will serve as a base for the launch of research satellites, state media reported.
The space centre includes a research satellite called Omid (Hope), an underground control station and space launch pad, the official news agency IRNA reported.
"Omid Satellite is the Islamic republic's first locally-made satellite which will be set at a low orbit," IRNA said adding that it would be launched in the next Iranian calendar year which begins on March 20.
The space centre was to be opened by shooting a probe rocket into space, state television said.
Iran successfully tested its first space rocket in February 2005. The Iranian launcher is based on the Shahab 3 missile, which has a range of 1,300-1,600 kilometres. (AFP)
Iran launches first space centre