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Iranian Space program

PersianNinja

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For perspective, civilian commercial satellite is available at 20 cm resolution along with SAR and radar capture.

So Iran might have <1m resolution within next couple years.

No rush since we still lack a launcher with a significant track record of success.
Simorgh SLV's issues have more or less been addressed. Even the problematic second and third stages are nearly up to par and the last test came really close.

I believe that by November or December this year, they may put a 200-300kg satellite in LEO.
 

TheImmortal

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I believe that by November or December this year, they may put a 200-300kg satellite in LEO.

Will need to put up at least 3-5 satellite back to back without failure to say the system has full confidence.

One launch won’t erase the potential bottleneck issues. They are pushing that system beyond its threshold capability.
 

PersianNinja

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Will need to put up at least 3-5 satellite back to back without failure to say the system has full confidence.

One launch won’t erase the potential bottleneck issues. They are pushing that system beyond its threshold capability.
I mean even if it's limited to a 100kg payload, it's a good intermittent SLV.

Experience can be built up overtime but truthfully, they ought to get North Korean assistance and input on this because those guys have way more experience with rocket engines.
 

TheImmortal

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I mean even if it's limited to a 100kg payload, it's a good intermittent SLV.

Experience can be built up overtime but truthfully, they ought to get North Korean assistance and input on this because those guys have way more experience with rocket engines.

NK was given that engine tech likely by China. For years they couldn’t have a successful engine tech. Remember the disaster that was Tapedong-2 and 3?

And the issue with SLVs is they need to be economically sound. Unlike an ICBM that is firing a nuke. I’m sure iran could build a powerful rocket, but the key is cost feasibility. You cannot have SLV cost $10M to build and launch a $500K satelitte. Makes zero economic sense. In US, the public sector can now launch satellites for less than $2M.

Iran kept trying to use scud engines to do all the work. This has proven to be very unreliable in the past.

Finally both IRGC and ISA decided to pursue more powerful SLVs. But from 2008-2018 we spent a decade tinkering with scud engine derivatives.
 

PersianNinja

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NK was given that engine tech likely by China. For years they couldn’t have a successful engine tech. Remember the disaster that was Tapedong-2 and 3?

And the issue with SLVs is they need to be economically sound. Unlike an ICBM that is firing a nuke. I’m sure iran could build a powerful rocket, but the key is cost feasibility. You cannot have SLV cost $10M to build and launch a $500K satelitte. Makes zero economic sense. In US, the public sector can now launch satellites for less than $2M.

Iran kept trying to use scud engines to do all the work. This has proven to be very unreliable in the past.

Finally both IRGC and ISA decided to pursue more powerful SLVs. But from 2008-2018 we spent a decade tinkering with scud engine derivatives.
Yeah, I totally agree with you on the issue of the SCUD engines. Those aren't meant for anything remotely resembling space missions and it was a daft idea to work with such a design to begin with.

One correction regarding North Korea, though. They built their ICBM program around RD-250 engines they smuggled in from Ukraine. The aerospace engineers were trained in china but the weapons themselves were developed around old soviet hardware Pyongyang acquired.

But the TELs they use were provided by china. Similarly, the hypersonic weapons program has a heavy chinese component supply.
 

yugocrosrb95

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My eyes...

North Korea and Iran have cooperation in research and development of missiles and rockets.

Primary issue with Unha-3(people that read too much propaganda call it Taepodong 2/3) is that it didn't have inhibitors in rocket fuel that ate away at skin of rockets body.

North Korea reverse engineered / reproduced RD-250 and made improvements that turbopump and rocket nozzle can handle 3 minutes of operation.

That has been demonstrated by Hwasong-15 that can match Unha-3 / Simorgh if ever used to insert satellite into low earth orbit.
 

TheImmortal

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Yeah, I totally agree with you on the issue of the SCUD engines. Those aren't meant for anything remotely resembling space missions and it was a daft idea to work with such a design to begin with.

One correction regarding North Korea, though. They built their ICBM program around RD-250 engines they smuggled in from Ukraine. The aerospace engineers were trained in china but the weapons themselves were developed around old soviet hardware Pyongyang acquired.

But the TELs they use were provided by china. Similarly, the hypersonic weapons program has a heavy chinese component supply.

It’s highly unlikely North Korea would have the the infrastructure/funding to reverse RD-250 on their own. Even with blueprints it will take a long time. These are literally rocket engines.

It took Iran 20+ years to reverse a cruise missile like KH-55 and even now it doesn’t build the same engine at similar cost ratio and performance level. Hence why we have so many different variations of it.

While it’s not impossible Chinese state is backing them and aiding them, another possibility we should consider is retired soviet era Chinese scientists aiding North Koreans alongside a far more subtle Chinese state effort to see the jump in Missile development we saw.

After all, if you are a retired Chinese scientist who has worked on Russian engines back in the day and North Korea offers you millions to aid them on a project, will you turn it down?

Chinese state themselves would be against an ICBM capable North Korea because it would give US the excuse to start installing more missile interceptors near Chinese Mainlnd, just like they used the “Iranian missile threat to Europe” to place interceptors in Poland against Russia.
 

PersianNinja

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It’s highly unlikely North Korea would have the the infrastructure/funding to reverse RD-250 on their own. Even with blueprints it will take a long time. These are literally rocket engines.

It took Iran 20+ years to reverse a cruise missile like KH-55 and even now it doesn’t build the same engine at similar cost ratio and performance level. Hence why we have so many different variations of it.

While it’s not impossible Chinese state is backing them and aiding them, another possibility we should consider is retired soviet era Chinese scientists aiding North Koreans alongside a far more subtle Chinese state effort to see the jump in Missile development we saw.

After all, if you are a retired Chinese scientist who has worked on Russian engines back in the day and North Korea offers you millions to aid them on a project, will you turn it down?

Chinese state themselves would be against an ICBM capable North Korea because it would give US the excuse to start installing more missile interceptors near Chinese Mainlnd, just like they used the “Iranian missile threat to Europe” to place interceptors in Poland against Russia.
A retired prc scientist working for North Korea? Impossible. Beijing wouldn't let such a thing come to pass and swoop in to seize any money transferred to the hypothesized individual and secondly, working for North Korea would yield few tangible benefits to them - aside from limited cash money, there is very little Pyongyang can put on the table.

No, your assessment is way off here. More likely is that they had some input from a russian or Ukrainian freelancer who ASSISTED (but not outright designed) in reverse engineering the RD-250 they obtained but did the bulk of the heavy lifting themselves.

By the way, the new cruise missile the North Koreans tested surpasses the Kh-55 and is already in the Iranian arsenal.
 

yugocrosrb95

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PRC / China didn't went under economic meltdown unlike Russia and Ukraine did in 1990s thus it is more likely for them to recruit rocket scientists from either of those along fact that North Korea has been conducting industrial espionage in territories of Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact during Cold War hence such unsurprising if true.

DPRK invests heavily in its defense industry and we can see their military industrial complex having achievements along fact of cooperation with Syria and Iran thus we can see some systems being identical or similar with comparable design goals and specifications. They did not do everything by themselves, still they have huge R&D.
 

TheImmortal

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North Korea doesn't trust modern China.

Don’t believe that’s true at all. Economically, China helps keep North Korea afloat. They aren’t strategic allies or else North Korea would be doing much better economically than they are. But China has a balancing act of keeping North Korea strong enough to deter any foreign action while weak enough to not give the US excuses to contain China vis a vi the NK lie.

And Russians aren’t handing over ToT of their rocket engine tech to anyone. That goes against everything they have done in last 25 years.
 

Sineva

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I mean even if it's limited to a 100kg payload, it's a good intermittent SLV.

Experience can be built up overtime but truthfully, they ought to get North Korean assistance and input on this because those guys have way more experience with rocket engines.
Yes,iran should be looking to acquire the paektusan/rd250 engine from the dprk [assuming that it hasnt already] as this would provide iran with the basis for an slv with a multi-ton to leo payload capability.It would also be a much better bet than fvcking around with the 4d10 engine from the khorramshahr like the dprk did,which is really irans only other liquid fueled engine choice at the present,tho one possibility would be to use the 4d10 in a redesigned first stage for the simorgh,however when one considers the simorghs lack of any real long term development potential,nevermind its poor record of reliability,it just doesnt seem worth it frankly.
 

jamahir

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Economically, China helps keep North Korea afloat. They aren’t strategic allies or else North Korea would be doing much better economically than they are.

Indeed,one only has to look at kims removal [and execution] of his uncle,and the assassination of his older half brother kim jong nam,to see that he doesnt trust the chinese as far as he could spit them.

I agree, Sineva, they aren't strategic allies as TheImmortal says but only because North Korea doesn't trust China as you say. China is not a leftist ideological country but a nationalist Capitalist one whose government enables a system that maintains stock markets and allows people to gamble there, lose money and the system allows the people losing money to suicide by jump into steel furnaces and off buildings so there is no more an ideological connect between North Korea and China. The economic ties are there I think mostly because of shared border than anything else. Is the Chinese relations with North Korea any different than with South Korea ? :) From this Wikipedia page :
China is by far South Korea's largest trading partner, with China importing goods worth $160 billion from South Korea in 2018, which comprised 26% of South Korea's total exports. 21% of South Korea's imports also came from China, worth $107 billion in 2018.

But China has a balancing act of keeping North Korea strong enough to deter any foreign action while weak enough to not give the US excuses to contain China vis a vi the NK lie.

What do you mean by NK lie ?

And Russians aren’t handing over ToT of their rocket engine tech to anyone. That goes against everything they have done in last 25 years.

We can't be sure of that. Russia almost gave India engine tech in the early 1990s :
Today’s launch of a geostationary communication satellite, GSAT-19, is perhaps ISRO’s most important mission in the last three decades. Bigger, probably, in technological significance than even the hugely popular Chandrayaan or Mangalyaan space missions. Not because of the satellite that is being put in space, though that, in itself, is no less special.

The launch is a giant leap for ISRO because of the rocket it is using. More precisely, because of the engine that is powering this rocket. In fact, it is just the third and uppermost stage of that engine that has made this launch extra-special. The mission happens to be the first “developmental” flight of the next generation Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, called GSLV-MkIII with an entirely indigenous cryogenic upper stage that ISRO has been trying to master since the 1990s.
This cryogenic stage, that involves handling fuel at very low temperatures, is crucial to providing the extra thrust required by the rocket to carry heavier satellites deeper into space. GSLV-MkIII is meant to carry payloads up to four to five tons and that was not possible with conventional propellants used by ISRO’s main launch vehicle, called PSLV, which can take satellites only up to 2 tons to orbits and that too until orbits of 600-km altitude from the earth’s surface.

It will not just help ISRO probe deeper into space but will also bring it extra revenue, enabling it to make commercial launches of heavier satellites. “It is definitely the biggest event for ISRO in the last couple of decades. For ISRO’s launch vehicle programme, this probably is the most important day. This is a success in which there has been absolutely no foreign assistance. The GSLV-MkIII is entirely home grown and that is why it is so satisfying,” G Madhavan Nair, former chairman of ISRO, told The Indian Express.

Behind the success of the launch is nearly three decades of hard work in taming cryogenic technology and an interesting history of this technology was denied to ISRO by the United States in the early 1990s, forcing it develop it on its own. Amongst all rocket fuels, hydrogen is known to provide the maximum thrust. But hydrogen, in its natural gaseous form, is difficult to handle, and, therefore, not used in normal engines in rockets like PSLV. However, hydrogen can be used in liquid form.
The problem is hydrogen liquifies at very low temperature, nearly 250 degrees Celsius below zero. To burn this fuel, oxygen also needs to be in liquid form, and that happens at about 90 degrees Celsius below zero. Creating such a low-temperature atmosphere in the rocket is a difficult proposition, because it creates problems for other material used in the rocket. ISRO had planned the development of a cryogenic engine way back in the mid-1980s when just a handful of countries — the United States, the erstwhile USSR, France and Japan — had this technology.
To fast-track its development of next-generation launch vehicles — the GSLV programme had already been envisioned — ISRO had decided to import a few of these engines. It had discussions with Japan, US and France before finally settling for Russian engines. In 1991, ISRO and the Russian space agency, Glavkosmos, had signed an agreement for supply of two of these engines along with transfer of technology so that the Indian scientists could build these on their own in the future.
However, the United States, which had lost out on the engine contract, objected to the Russian sale, citing provisions of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) that neither India nor Russia was a member of. MTCR seeks to control the proliferation of missile technology. Russia, still emerging from the collapse of the USSR, succumbed to US pressure and cancelled the deal in 1993. In an alternative arrangement, Russia was allowed to sell seven, instead of original two, cryogenic engines but could not transfer the technology to India.
These engines supplied by Russia were used in the initial flights of first and second generation GSLVs (Mk-I and Mk-II). The last of these was used in the launch of INSAT-4CR in September 2007. But ever since the cancellation of the original Russian deal, ISRO got down to develop the cryogenic technology on its own at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre at Thiruvananthapuram. It took more than a decade to build the engines and success did not come easily.

In 2010, two launches of second generation GSLV rockets, one having the Russian engine and the other indigenously developed, ended in failures. The big success came in December 2014 with the experimental flight of third generation (Mk-III) GSLV containing an indigenous cryogenic similar to the one used today. This mission also carried out an experimental re-entry payload, that ejected after reaching a height of 126 km and landed safely in the Bay of Bengal. After that, there have been three successful launches of second generation GSLV (Mk-II), the latest one, in May, being GSLV-F09 that launched the South Asian satellite.
So it is very possible that Russia has collaborated with North Korea.
 
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PersianNinja

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Yes,iran should be looking to acquire the paektusan/rd250 engine from the dprk [assuming that it hasnt already] as this would provide iran with the basis for an slv with a multi-ton to leo payload capability.It would also be a much better bet than fvcking around with the 4d10 engine from the khorramshahr like the dprk did,which is really irans only other liquid fueled engine choice at the present,tho one possibility would be to use the 4d10 in a redesigned first stage for the simorgh,however when one considers the simorghs lack of any real long term development potential,nevermind its poor record of reliability,it just doesnt seem worth it frankly.
Simorgh's problems have been addressed with the second and third stages - it's very nearly ready to go now.

However, the problem is that the payload will be restricted to 300 kg maximum. And that isn't NEARLY good enough, I'm afraid.

Unless it can put a 2 tonne payload into LEO, it's worthless as a workhorse SLV.
 

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