Iraq to launch its first satellite before the end of 2013

The new satellite, called 'Dijlah', will help improve communications in Iraq. [Mohammed Ameen/Reuters]

The new satellite, called 'Dijlah', will help improve communications in Iraq. [Mohammed Ameen/Reuters]

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

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, launched at the beginning of July, 15 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".

Launching the Dijlah satellite "will represent the first step for Iraq on the path to build an integrated satellite with more advanced specifications in the future, using strictly national efforts", he added.

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.

A major turning point'

Amer Abdul Ahad, General Director of the Ministry's Department of Space Technology and Telecommunications, said, "the Iraqi engineers and their Italian peers will complete work on the Dijlah satellite by July of next year, with the hope that it can be launched into space by November of the same year."

"The satellite will fly at a low space orbit at an altitude ranging between 600 to 800 kilometres, while its lifespan will last about two years," Abdul Ahad told Mawtani.

"The satellite will only be used for educational purposes and experimental research in the field of space technology, and will help increase the technical skills of our specialised staffs and enable them to build a specialized local satellite with advanced capabilities and usages," he said.

"There are also consultations with our Italian partners to study the possibility of installing certain scientific equipment and devices on the Dijlah satellite, such as earth-imaging cameras, sensors for atmospheric gases, and digital communications system on a limited geographic scope," he added.

Abdul Ahad said the Ministry, by embarking on this step, "seeks to uplift the status of space studies and promote the education and culture of space studies in Iraq, to keep pace with technological progress witnessed by the world in this sector".

"The academic co-operation programme with the Italian university will continue even after the completion of the project as we need to acquire scientific and practical experience, which will enable us to achieve the required progress in such vital sectors," he added.

Wahda al-Jumaily, a member of the parliament's services and reconstruction committee, welcomed the Ministry of Science and Technology's efforts to build and launch the Dijlah satellite.

"I consider this project a brave and bold gesture by the ministry, particularly since we have scientific capabilities and highly educated minds that allow us to accomplish it," she told Mawtani. "However, we need the assistance of developed countries so we can strongly enter into the field of space technology."

"The Dijlah satellite, albeit with limited technical potential that does not compare with global specialised satellites, still represents a major turning point in the course of Iraq's efforts towards progress in this field" al-Jumaily added.

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    عبدالله محمد

    2012-10-3

    There is no doubt that the media outlets have important roles in repelling the corruption, extremism, and terrorism, which our current reality imposes on us. We must work to increase the awareness against terrorism and extremism through media channels, which always offer new values and help us. Therefore, the television has become a key guest in each family. Also, members of the family gather around the TV to follow its programs, especially talk shows that are produced on all channels as well as on governmental and non-governmental channels. As such, a structural plan for programs and media must be redrawn to attract attention to the fact that if the programs of awareness to fight terrorism have been under the supervision of a group of intellectuals or thinkers, it would help more to spread the culture to repel the threat of terrorism. We find that there are media channels that have already drawn a plan such as the Arabiya channel. In its program called 'Death Industry', it speaks during the first and last segments about terrorism and terrorists, and it is one of the most famous and the most successful programs to discuss the issues of extremism and terrorism, as this program mediates between the dissemination of culture in a scientific and orderly approach without bias, despite the fact that it is a media program, and does not differ in composition from other media programs. What I like in that program is the attention to one issue and studying its aspects well, and that it copes with events accurately and precisely, and impact of such heinous crimes.

  • فهد علي فهد

    2012-10-3

    No one can deny that the worldwide media serves us in various areas. One of the most important is the fight against corruption and terrorism and these issues must be discussed more broadly in our current days, where the patch of terrorism increased dramatically and spread as an epidemic in various parts of the world, especially in the African countries. The media channels must be exploited in educating the citizens on the threat of terrorism and discuss with politicians, business leaders, and political officials in any country, how to tackle the threat of terrorism as much as possible, and draw up plans to combat them, and increase the security personnel and officers to capture terrorist agents in their homes. Therefore, attention must be paid and they must make every effort to educate the citizens with bright and useful ideas for working to build their present and develop their future, and for the advancement of the country which is at risk of terrorism, so the onus falls first and last on the Arab media. Therefore, it has to be restructured by reaching terms fit for indictment of terrorism and aversion from it to be used by the media after being trained in it, and provide studies that suggest the causes and seriousness of terrorism in the world. As such, the media will present numerous media programs and at the end of the year, they will hold a referendum on these programs to highlight their role in activating the experience of fighting terrorism and extremism, and arrange seminars that discuss this important issue by increasing the number of reporters in the heart of the event to deploy the live and vivid images first hand, and so the media outlets can contribute in repelling the risk of terrorism.

  • عبدالله محمد

    2012-9-30

    The terrorist operations in Iraq have claimed the lives of many innocent Iraqi citizens. Therefore, we are supposed to put a final end to those terrorist operations. In so doing, the country will restore peace and even thrive. Iraq is in need for every citizen, especially the young people of the nation. For this reason, the competent authorities should seek to disseminate sound religious programs. They must deal with the confused religious culture. This can be achieved only through the elimination of religious extremism which thrived in Iraqi society. In fact, the religious extremism leads systematically to fierce sectarian strife. This scourge, in turn, would lead to the destruction of the Iraqi economy. Thus, the Iraqi authorities should develop educational programs in order to distract the young people in Iraq and avoid the political vacuum that plagued the lives of this age category. The media should broadcast programs dealing with political issues where there is total freedom of opinion and expression. In fact, freedom is the way to democracy, prosperity and progress. We need to establish institutions that support and develop those ideas. We must make sure that the principles of freedom will last for the coming generations. We should create a community which is free from terrorism and terrorists. The organizations that promote ideas that contradict with our religious, political and economic principles should be eradicated altogether. We want to create a strong and healthy society where economy and production could thrive.

  • عبدالرحمن صادق

    2012-9-30

    I call on all the media channels to raise the awareness of people against terrorism, given that these groups are carrying out a lot of acts in order to terrorize and intimidate citizens. These groups also aim to challenge Government through these acts and the manifestations of violence which are carried out in the Arab world by terrorists. In so doing, the latter pretend that they are struggling for the sake of Allah and protecting Islam through bloodshed and claiming the lives of unarmed civilians who may include Muslims. Indeed, they are liars in their ideologies and beliefs since Islam has nothing to do with such acts. This Religion is rather based on mercy, tolerance between Muslims, the respect of non-Muslims and keeping them safe. Yet, they are accusing Islam of lies and spreading a tarnished image of this religion for non-Muslims urging the latter to treat Muslims in a harsh and hostile way. In fact, a lot of extremist Arabs have formed organizations and groups to carry out heinous crimes against citizens whose first and foremost objective is to challenge and weakened Governments rather than to support Islam as they are claiming. In fact, these groups are committing most of the terrorist acts and crimes in foreign countries in addition to their acts in Arab countries. As a matter of fact, in order to overcome this threat, we have to combat it with all the possible ways which will help us a lot in eradicating them. In fact, the best of these ways is facing terrorism through using the media so that it will expose them in front of the entire world given that all people have got a TV set or a computer that enable them to see the world. Thus, the media play a major role which should be exploited well in order to eradicate these groups and raise people’s awareness against them.

  • عقيل يوسف اسحاق

    2012-9-30

    The independent and free media that have been broadcast on the legitimate channels can lead the people to science, light and progress such as the independent and free press. In fact, the Arab media have been suffering from the previous Government’s domination because they have published the news according to the Governments’ desire. Besides, they have broadcast false news due to this domination. In fact, the previous Governments have occupied and manipulated the people’s minds. Thus, the Arab nation has been suffering from the media misleading and blackout in order to serve the Governments’ interest. And despite that, people have not gotten up from their slumber and they have become guided like the blind. In fact, they have observed with the Government’s eyes and they have only heard the Government’s speech. Besides, they have talked with the Government’s mouthpiece. In fact, these media manipulations have led to backwardness and ignorance although the Islamic religion says: Read in the name of Allah who creates religion which has taught reading and writing. Religion has also taught the meaning of education, freedom and democracy which is stipulated by all the divine religions. Thus, the media manipulations have been the reason behind the people’s backwardness and ignorance. They also led to the absence of ethics and to the spread of the political, media and religious ignorance. Besides, this has led to the spread of the political conflicts and discords among people. Thus, the free TV channels must broadcast the facts and they must preserve credibility in dealing with people.

  • فيصل محمد

    2012-9-27

    The spread of culture inside communities is very risky and important given that no one can deny the effect of culture on people’s minds, on communities and on building countries, their civilizations and their progress. In fact, there is no doubt that the openness of people’s minds and the spread of science and knowledge among them in all life fields and in all their affairs, whether from inside or outside the communities, such as the spread of the cultures of other countries and communities will affect the life of people, since they have acquired new ideas about the life styles in different countries in different eras. In fact, the spread of historical and social cultures in any community helps individuals acquire new and different life styles and urge them to change their own style a lot. Thus, this will urge us to work on encouraging the spread of cultures using different methods in our communities and country so that we will be able to develop it and keep up with the other nations and communities in their race of cultures, development, knowledge, science and using technology in all the different life fields. Therefore, we are required to help our country engage in these races and competitions and achieve higher levels in these cultural, educational and technological fields. We should also help our community reap the fruit of our sciences, culture and knowledge so that all of us will enjoy them.

  • حسن يوسف

    2012-9-27

    The mass media and TV channels have a great responsibility and play a great role that should not be ignored to educate the citizens against terrorism and the spread of its dangers and its results that affect the society and his citizens whether old or young.

  • طارق عبدالصمد

    2012-9-27

    In the current time, Iraq needs to achieve recovery in many life aspects. There is no doubt that this will affect people’s life and they will be able to overcome the obstacles that have faced them. They will also be able to help the State in order to achieve development. In fact, the recovery in art activities will help the people to enjoy stability and calm, especially with all these events and frightening crimes that have terrorized and prevented them from working and developing their country. The art works that have been broadcast on TVs, cinemas and theaters have played a big role in societies. And they have affected people in all the countries of the world. In fact, these works can increase their consciousness and they can change their ideas and opinions about the issues that have harmed their societies. Besides, these art works have urged people to achieve development and progress and to make their duties toward their countries. Thus, we want all the art activities of the different forms to be resumed in Iraq in order to serve Iraqis and Iraq, because this will have a positive result on the development process. And the Iraqi Government must call for the art activities’ recovery.

  • محمد امين

    2012-9-27

    In the current time, the TV channels have a big importance in our societies because they can raise people’s awareness against terrorism and they can immunize the people’s minds from the terrorist ideas.

  • salem kmmo

    2012-9-18

    Actually, this is a good step on the part of the ministry and we would hope that it will improve the industry at the Iraqi hands and under brave administration in the ministry.

  • kasim

    2012-9-17

    Thanks to Allah. we hear much but see little. I do not know whether this will happen in the future or not, but I would be delighted if this happened.

  • مواطن

    2012-9-17

    This is a very clear intelligence and spying project. However, the Iraqi engineers should attend the training courses and after that, we should cancel the installation of the Italian satellite because they will never love us. The Israeli Mossad is behind it and they try to return to us with a new pretext from time to time whether this was about agriculture, education, or industry. They defame the Muslims abroad and they will not allow the Iraqis to enter their countries, even deport them by force, and refuse to grant them asylum. Hence, they will never love any Muslim. Sometimes, they would send many computers to the colleges under the pretext of helping the students, but actually, the computers contain espionage equipment. Please, dear brothers be careful and do not consider the foreigners who visit our country officially or for humanitarian purposes as angels or great people just because they are foreigners. Those foreigners may be spies or worth nothing in their countries, but we overestimate all the foreigners and this is wrong. We have to be careful when dealing with them, and this should remain within the proper limits. We also should not allow them act as they wish or speak with them without caution as we chat with each other. We have to be careful and deal with them within limits because our state is going through very difficult conditions and all states are conspiring against us, even the Arab states. Anyway, we stress that the foreigners never loved us and these are Israeli plans against Iraq and Iran.

  • عمار الحاتم

    2012-9-17

    Let them improve the electricity because Iraqi people died of heat, especially in southern Iraq, where the temperatures may reach 58 degrees.

  • وسام عادل شلاكة ال حيدر

    2012-9-16

    This is a turning point for our beloved Iraq, and we are thankful for the efforts expended with regards to this great project. I wish all Iraqis good luck and success, so that they may contribute to the revival of a new Iraq, characterized by good culture, high technology and advancement, god willing. My greetings to all of you, Wesam Al Baghdadi, Al Sadr City.

  • بختياررشيد

    2012-9-16

    CN is not used in what benefits Iraq. We better try to control the terrorism of the mobile phone companies in our nation.

  • علي

    2012-9-16

    Iraq will not progress with this corrupt government which does not express the ambitions of the people. The proof is electricity and security that are destroyed, ahead of the amazing execution and second is the administrative and financial corruption of the high officials who do not represent the country, they came from abroad!

  • عمار السعدي

    2012-9-16

    Thanks for the beautiful article.

  • ghanem

    2012-9-15

    It is beautiful to reach the outer space and we don’t have electricity.

  • عبد

    2012-9-15

    We will see how much money will be stolen under the pretext of the alleged satellite!! Yet, God knows about the thievish government!

  • alishnin

    2012-9-15

    May God enable our scholars to serve and raise the reputation of this beloved nation!

  • محمدجبريل

    2012-9-14

    With God’s help we are with you.

  • ابو حسن

    2012-9-14

    I wish that this would be true, because we are really in urgent need of developing this sector, particularly given that we are underdeveloped in this regard.

  • فيصل رشيد عياش ألدليمي

    2012-9-13

    I was surprised by this news. Despite the harsh circumstances that Iraqi academicians are enduring inside Iraq (thanks to the bad security and the occlusive guns used to kill them), but we witness Iraqi brains defying the odds and shining. So, I congratulate Iraqis and everyone who contributed to this scientific achievement. Iraq has scientists and experts in every field, and their academic excellence is recognized and acknowledged by Arab and International universities. However, it is sad that terrorists and political militia have coerced them to escape overseas together with their families. They are longing to return home, so that they may serve their people and help advance all aspects of education. But who can guarantee that they will live in peace and safety. We hope that justice will prevail in Iraq, so that terrorist operations will cease and talented individuals may return to rebuild Iraq on a scientific basis. We pray to god and ask Him to guide the politicians to strive for the good and happiness of the Iraqi people.

  • عراقي

    2012-9-13

    Is it reasonable that they let Iraq manufacture a satellite? It is stupid if anyone thinks that way, because the west does not want this to happen. First, let the government provide security for the citizens, their needs, improve the infrastructure and eliminate the corruption spreading in the governmental departments and institutions. Let the government provide such things and we don't need satellites.