Iranian Space Station In one word, yes. Below, a more elaborate full-length commentary: As one might have figured out, developing its own indigenous manned space program can not be justified if it stops at just sending a few astronauts into LEO. That would be a stunt for minor NGO players like the Viking's Copenhagen Suborbitals. But as an official milestone that is intended to trumpet to the world one's entry into the most elite club of superpowers, any indigenous manned space program has to follow these following steps: Phase I 1. An unmanned suborbital flight. 2. A single astronaut suborbital flight. Phase II 3. An unmanned orbital flight with recoverable capsule. 4. A single astronaut orbital flight. 5. A single astronaut orbital flight with spacewalk. Phase III 6. A multi astronauts orbital short-term flight. 7. A multi astronauts orbital short-term flight, with female astronaut. 8. A multi astronauts orbital short-term flight, with spacewalk. Phase IV 9. A multi astronauts orbital flight with rendez-vous. 10. A multi astronauts orbital flight with rendez-vous and docking to target spacecraft. Phase V 11. Rendez-vous and docking of several space modules to form a small space station. 12. A multi astronauts orbital long-term flight with docking to a space station. Iran has disclosed the phases 1 to 3, during the years 2010s. As for the following steps 4 and 5, it is still not official. And here we can have a good indication, if we monitor the Indian ISRO procedure. If one can see the head then one can guess the existence of the tail. India has disclosed only lately in 2019 its 20 tons Space Station, made of two modules. India’s space station likely to have space for three Oct 31, 2019, 10:12 IST BENGALURU: The Indian Space Station, which the Indian Space Research Organisation plans to put in place in five to seven years, will have space for three astronauts, sources told TOI. The space station will be an extension of the human spaceflight programme Gaganyaan. TOI has learned that the initial designs for the space station – still in a nascent stage – suggest a 20-tonne modular abode in the low earth orbit (LEO), at an altitude of 120km to 140km. [edit: 120 to 140 km is impossible, should read 320km to 340 km] The International Space Station (ISS), jointly managed by the US, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada, orbits at an average altitude of 400km. Announcing the project in June this year, Isro chairman K Sivan had said: “We don’t want to be part of ISS. Our station, which will be set up in five to seven years, won’t be very big.” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com...have-space-for-three/articleshow/71828669.cms https://archive.fo/goM7Z/fe8ee905d3127047356e91d76c052a601f2370e2.png ; https://i.imgur.com/6Boz6It.png ▲ 1. The 20 tons Indian Space Station, made of two modules. That is later than North Korea. But NADA's plans are inofficial, only hint disclosed in 2018. http://web.archive.org/web/20190807...lickr.com/2/1755/42507168321_2890520ea0_b.jpg ; https://archive.fo/tWv4n/f14da7d8064b1671c0c0ce5317f49d8ad97d068a.jpg ; https://www.flickr.com/photos/dprktoday/42507168321/ ; https://defence.pk/pdf/attachments/...4/?temp_hash=e4a69666c2d20d594c3587b699925220 ; 전국소년과학환상문예작품 및 모형전시회-2018》 개막_3 ; Uploaded on June 2, 2018 ▲ 2. National Youth Science Fiction Literature and Model Exhibition 2018: published on 2 June 2018, a depiction of a North Korean orbital manned spacecraft, powered by two pair of solar panels, linked to a cylindrical module that shows 3 portholes. Itself a reiteration of the old Salyut-type space laboratory represented in 1989. http://web.archive.org/web/20190807...f73cd55d704a5004ae2cadeae5f886.1565187217.jpg ; https://archive.fo/MkKk4/befb910e5bf73cd55d704a5004ae2cadeae5f886.jpg ; http://web.archive.org/web/20190807...20&fit=max&s=5fabfe40cb132853b16ac06a67966e0f ; https://archive.fo/9rxQ3/befb910e5bf73cd55d704a5004ae2cadeae5f886 ; https://charliecrane.com/portfolio/welcome-to-pyongyang ; https://defence.pk/pdf/attachments/...3/?temp_hash=c4697492aaa386b6172c2c1cf3a0ecfa ▲ 3. North Korean Space shuttle model in the Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s Palace that was opened in 1989. Notice the space laboratory. And as of Iranian hints, we had a first glimpse back in 2012, during the 63rd International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Naples. With the first ever image of an Iranian 2-modules three-seaters orbital manned spacecraft and initially due to be launched sometimes after 2019. Notice that the Iranian orbital spacecraft is fitted with a docking system. https://archive.fo/aYll2/34e705f562551806275eb24ae78b89b5ab7cca90.jpg ; https://archive.fo/aYll2/b7602f817588daab01b716afb27237b015f609bb/scr.png ; http://soheilesy.persiangig.com/image/SATL/Capsule.jpg ; https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/irans-manned-space-capsule.225022/#post-3707971 ▲ 4. Iran's three seaters orbital manned spacecraft first disclosed in 2012. Then a second type of orbital manned spacecraft was seen displayed in 2013 docking to a co-orbital target. http://gallery.military.ir/albums/userpics/10198/121650.jpg ; https://archive.ph/XHtU3/ed36305d4f2ce5e20884d0aa6e596213ce137914.jpg ; https://archive.ph/XHtU3/40e01a5f0779b116f5d0993ed5e4527e24189d58/scr.png ; http://web.archive.org/web/20191031...s.com/files/fa/news/1391/11/17/138117_850.jpg ; https://www.bultannews.com/fa/news/...ی-جلوگیری-از-ترور-با-ماسک-جلو-دوربین-می-فرستد ▲ 5. Iran 2013 representation of a small manned orbital spacecraft docking to a co-orbital target. At nearly the same time, even a third design was presented. This Iranian Soyuz-type shared the general layout. While the published specifications did not mention any Orbital Module that should comprises the docking system, computer CGI images clearly revealed the "headlight" Soyuz/Shenzhou-type shape of the Reentry module. Researchers have success in the design of manned orbital spacecraft 2013/8/27 Design life of 14 days, orbital mission of up to 3 days with a crew of one to two astronauts. Telecommunication antennas, solar arrays and radiators are installed outside the spacecraft. Injection orbit of 250 × 200 km altitude, with operating altitude of 330 Km ± 5 km Length of 5 m and diameter of 2.5 to 1.45 m, which is about four cubic meters volume The mass of the propulsion module is 2.5 tons The Reentry module has a mass of 2.5 tons. Solar Electric system power: 1.00 average kW. Batteries power: 0.2 kW http://isna.ir/fa/news/92060502937/موفقیت-محققان-ایرانی-در-طراحی-فضاپیمای-سرنشین http://media.isna.ir/content/sm-final2.jpg/4 ; http://isna.ir/fa/news/92060502937/موفقیت-محققان-ایرانی-در-طراحی-فضاپیمای-سرنشین ▲ 6. Iranian Soyuz-type manned orbital spacecraft CGI from 2013: propulsion module http://media.isna.ir/content/25-375.jpg/4 ; http://isna.ir/fa/news/92060502937/موفقیت-محققان-ایرانی-در-طراحی-فضاپیمای-سرنشین ▲ 7. Iranian Soyuz-type manned orbital spacecraft CGI from 2013: propulsion module and reentry module Here a CGI by unknown sources showing the same spacecraft from a different angle, and emphasizing on the reentry module. http://media.jamejamonline.ir/Media/Image/1392/01/21/635011844293450022.jpg ; http://jamejamonline.ir/online/1001418685139564907/دوستی-در-آرزوی-پرواز-به-فضا ; http://www.aerospacetalk.ir/vb/showthread.php?t=51579 ▲ 8. Unofficial CGI of Iranian manned orbital spacecraft with reconstructed Shenzhou-type return module. As a further proof of this joint Iranian-Korean project, the same spacecraft was displayed in North Korea on 9th March 2017 during the week of the 2017 Kimjongilia Festival. The manned orbital 3-modules spacecraft, was seen with one pair of solar panels on the service module, similar to the Chinese Project 863 manned orbital spacecraft (Shenzhou). https://archive.ph/FiQ6r/8ac921eee8a57f2cdcb1af2df903bfde3a9b0a5d.jpg ; https://archive.ph/FiQ6r/0457016407ccafd92058bc13169f28bf7eb7f458/scr.png ; http://web.archive.org/web/20191119234849/https://i.imgur.com/l19ui1l.jpg ; http://ipic.su/7ytepD.jpg ; https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2005/32772293282_6fb50aac03_b.jpg ; flickr.com/photos/arirangmeari/32772293282/ ; http://dprktoday.com/index.php?type=26&no=9047 ; youtube.com/watch?v=I-40y8aIPTU ▲ 9. Depiction of a North Korean 3-modules manned orbital spacecraft at the 2017 Kimjongilia Festival At the same time, in February 2017, Iran even presented a very stylized drawing of the said 3-modules spacecraft. And associated with a spacewalker! https://archive.ph/tX3Mr/3a3440066377c788556f0d4f7e2fecc083b38f74.jpg ; https://archive.ph/tX3Mr/d3fecaf3e4231fa2bad072cac3aaa322a666f071/scr.png ; http://web.archive.org/web/20191119235213/https://i.imgur.com/cQPPjgT.jpg ; http://ipic.su/7yt6Bu.jpg ; http://aero2017.kntu.ac.ir/files_site/pooster_file/r_2_161029065515.jpg ; http://aero2017.kntu.ac.ir/en/poster.php ▲ 10. Illustration of an Iranian astronaut performing EVA and a 3-modules manned orbital spacecraft, in a February 2017 K.N. Toosi University of Technology poster. Spacewalks already popularised the previous year during the Seventh exhibition of air and space industry, held around 30 October 2016. https://archive.is/p7Ug7/24d76dc6b5e6f453dcf324a27a065c94238c34cf.jpg ; https://archive.is/p7Ug7/f0c8a587fbae4c5ea983ce83e319167419178059/scr.png ; http://web.archive.org/web/20191119233841/https://i.imgur.com/EXIHAW9.jpg ; https://snn.ir/Original/1395/08/06/IMG15232313.jpg ; http://snn.ir/detail/News/555501/75 ▲ 11. Iranian visitors taking selfies as moked astronaut performing EVA, Seventh exhibition of air and space industry, 30 October 2016. Finally, seven years after its first appearance, the first 2-modules three-seaters orbital manned spacecraft fitted with a docking system, was again seen on the occasion of the 2019 world’s Space Week, during a news conference of Iran’s Space Research Center and Iran’s Space Agency, shortly referred to as ISA. According to practice, this only hints at some great progress made in the development of the E1 single seater suborbital manned spacecraft. https://archive.is/Hs5Yg/f25c9aae8eb0e242ef1f6a8096f45babf4c12c98.png ; https://archive.is/Hs5Yg/ace0d5096b3c53ca8ffbb2443c90f148019ceb03/scr.png ; http://web.archive.org/web/20191008...rates-latest-achievements-Iran-space-industry ; http://archive.fo/2C3gu ▲ 12. Iran's three seaters orbital manned spacecraft as represented in a 2019 world’s Space Week poster. Could Iran skip the development of its own space laboratory/space station? Even though a courtesy visit to the Chinese Space Station could be envisaged sometimes during the 5 steps of the Iranian long term space development plan, a continuous human presence in space can only be achieved by building its own Iranian space station. The following text from a non-Iranian source, explains once again why Iran can neither count on Russia nor the U.S. in this endeavour, but only trust North Korea and China. Iran Looks To Get In On Middle East Human Spaceflight Boom With Russia John Sheldon October 23, 2019 The head of the Iran Space Agency (ISA), Morteza Barari, has said that Iran is looking to open discussions with Russia about the possibility of sending an Iranian astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS), according to Iranian press reports. Barari’s announcement echoes a similar statement made in early October 2019 by Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, who has also openly called for talks with Russia about training and sending an Iranian to the ISS. “In order to send an astronaut explorer [to the ISS], we should launch negotiations with Russia. There are many explorers from different countries at the ISS. We are also primed at studying the possibility to send an astronaut to the space station in cooperation with other nations, for example Russia,” Barari said in an interview with Iran’s Mehr News Agency. The announcement by Iranian officials follows a flurry of human spaceflight activity and talks with Russia in the Middle East. In late September 2019 the United Arab Emirates sent its first astronaut, Hazza Al Mansoori, to the ISS with Russian assistance. Russia is also known to have offered similar astronaut training and launch services to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. On his state visits to Saudi Arabia and the UAE in mid-October 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated Russia’s pledge to assist those countries in their space ambitions. Often left unmentioned in much of the regional coverage of Russia’s offers to send Arab astronauts to the ISS is the fact that Moscow expects countries to pay for their astronaut’s training, launch, and other expenses. The cost of sending an individual for rigorous astronaut training, launch, stay on the ISS, and return to Earth can run into tens of millions of dollars. For countries like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE this kind of expenditure can be afforded and justified to their respective publics. Egypt has also publicly expressed an interest to send one of its citizens to the ISS with Russian help, but questions as to whether Cairo can afford this kind of mission or whether Russia is willing to do so for free remains unknown. For Iranian ambitions to send an astronaut to the ISS, the issue is not just one of affordability given the parlous state of Iran’s economy due to chronic mismanagement and the international sanctions regime. Rather, the very sanctions themselves would likely prevent Russia from allowing Iran to send one of its citizens to the ISS. Even though an Iranian astronaut would stay on board the Russian ISS module (effectively Russian sovereign territory), they would have to interact with other fellow astronauts from countries that are sanctioning Iran and, in the course of their ISS duties, go to the ISS modules owned and operated by the United States, European Space Agency, and Japan. Even if Russia wanted to send an Iranian astronaut to the ISS, it is more than likely that other ISS international partners would strongly oppose such a mission. http://web.archive.org/web/20191030...ddle-east-human-spaceflight-boom-with-russia/ http://archive.ph/VTs2M The Indian two-modules 20 tons space station might not be the closest analogy though. As Iran would have in the future a much more powerful launcher than India's GSLV, with the Safir-4 able to place 20 tons into LEO! Iran's Communication Satellite Developing Plan 2026 of the Iranian Space Research Center (I.S.R.C.) has revealed its future space launcher's payload capabilities: • Nahid-1, 50 Kg, LEO, Safir-1 SLV • Nahid-2, < 100 Kg, LEO, Safir-2 SLV • IRANSAT-1, 1 ton, GEO, Safir-3A SLV • IRANSAT-2, 3 tons, GEO, Safir-3C SLV http://web.archive.org/web/20190801104910if_/https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DVw4DqgXUAEOXQg.jpg ; https://archive.fo/TVRNZ/e148f10050430ae9d3e72e3606acc85cb88610a6.jpg ; https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DVw4DqgXUAEOXQg.jpg:large ▲ 13. Iran's roadmap for communication satellites. From official presentation of the Iranian Space Research Center. The existence of an even more powerful heavy space launcher, able to place 20 tons into LEO, has also been revealed, the Safir-4. http://web.archive.org/web/20190324234320if_/https://i.imgur.com/YJeN7HI.jpg ; https://archive.fo/8MUj0/5746e1eeabd68c89d76db3e1acc6dd6bb97af820.jpg ; https://defence.pk/pdf/attachments/...7/?temp_hash=70fc9b1656a500388ff26bb0f6ad1834 ▲ 14. Artistic representation of the North Korean Unha launchers family, 2019. Outdated as of Mid-February 2019. _______________________________________ Iran has probably already completed most of the research works. And of course with all the spendings. And this is the greatest trick! https://archive.is/CTcuX/52d9f526029d816d8891c10a270b000c5dc572be.jpg ; https://archive.is/CTcuX/28ed9cf7bf495d8e2bc275bfcdc5222ed4828385/scr.png ; http://web.archive.org/web/20191031205244/https://i.imgur.com/Y0IPUJD.jpg ; https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net...st/scale-to-width-down/1000?cb=20181118141620 ; https://civilization.fandom.com/wiki/Cyrus_(Civ6)?file=Cyrus_Loading_Screen_(Civ6_R&F).png ; https://civilization.fandom.com/wiki/Cyrus_(Civ6) ▲ 15. Cyrus II and his modern day Avatar. "Agar fray šāyad, khāhim tipadasti man abās bāved." If there's deception afoot, I prefer it when I am the one providing the intrigue. And indeed back in 2015 it was already 40% done! By 2019, the first dummy astronaut and the E1 suborbital capsule is only awaiting a political greenlight to be launched. Both the JCPOA TV series and Kim-Trump summits soap opera have been the cause of all these delays. But the hardware is ready, and the training. Though a state secret! Russia to train Iranian cosmonauts May 07, 2014 Russia and Iran have reportedly signed a secret deal on wide cooperation in space exploration, ranging from training Iranian cosmonauts in Russia to possible production of Earth observation and telecommunication satellites for Iran. A protocol on cooperation was signed on April 10 in Tehran https://rt.com/news/157496-russia-iran-space-satellite/ Iran announces sending a man into space next year 94/07/22 -- 14 October 2015 this project has made a 40% progress, and will be able to send a man into space by next year. http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13940722001114 Things are going smoothly, as the only threat is terrorism (targeting scientists in mainland Iran, sabotage of facilities). By declaring the space program dead was the smartest way. Iranian scientists can now work safely i.e. in the North. Of course no U.S. sanctions can target a dead program. Meanwhile in the last couple of years, the launch rate of North Korea has suddenly and inexplicably skyrocketed to the level of the cold war's superpowers.