Iraq to launch its first satellite before the end of 2013

by Staff Reporter | September 17th, 2012

The Iraqi Ministry of Science and Technology plans to launch the first Iraqi experimental satellite before the end of next year, in collaboration with an Italian university as reported by

The ministry said the satellite will be used for educational and research purposes.

Sameer al-Attar, senior undersecretary at the Ministry, told Mawtani that this project “is part of a joint programme for scientific and academic co-operation between our ministry and the Italian side, represented by La Svanza University.”

Al-Attar said that under this programme, specialised engineers from the ministries of science, higher education and transport will participate in a scholarship programme to obtain a Master’s degree in space science from La Svanza.

“The engineers will receive theoretical lessons on satellite technology over a period of 14 months, culminating in the practical side of the programme, when they will design and manufacture the first Iraqi experimental satellite, carrying the name ‘Dijlah’,” he added.

Al-Attar said the Italian university “has pledged financial support, in addition to providing all the technical and scientific expertise needed for the Iraqi engineers to complete the project and launch the satellite before the end of next year”.

The satellite “will allow us […] to have access to important satellite data that can be used in several areas such as agricultural research, management of natural resources, ground and climatic studies as well as its various uses in the digital communications sector”, al-Attar said.

The satellite will reportedly fly at a low space orbit at an altitude ranging between 600 to 800 kilometres, with a lifespan of around two years.


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