Author Topic: ...and Iran?  (Read 14467 times)

Offline Satori

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...and Iran?
« on: 10/08/2006 11:34 am »
Well, the last months many things have been said about the iranian nuclear program. If they get the bomb (and they will get it!) they must have a launcg vehicle for it (and they have it). Last year we heard a lot about a possible iranian orbital launch from Emamshahr, Dash-E-Kabir. The launch eventualy was delayed (I don't think it was canceled...) and the Sinah-1 sat was launched by a 11K65M Kosmos-3M from GIK-1 Plesetsk on October 27th 2005.

So, can we expect a iranian orbital launch soon (maybe in 2007)? Or do you think that they will wait to see what happnes with all this nuclear problem (program)?


Offline Spirit

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RE: ...and Iran?
« Reply #1 on: 10/08/2006 12:21 pm »
Wow, the Iranians are far from building an orbital launcher. They can barely reach Israel with their modified Shehab-3 missiles. They need to develop an upper stage, but for that they will need more powerful first stage, that they don't have. My prediction is at least 2009 if they don't get destroyed by USA and allies.
Regards,
Atanas

Offline Satori

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RE: ...and Iran?
« Reply #2 on: 10/08/2006 01:21 pm »
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Spirit - 8/10/2006  7:04 AM

Wow, the Iranians are far from building an orbital launcher. They can barely reach Israel with their modified Shehab-3 missiles. They need to develop an upper stage, but for that they will need more powerful first stage, that they don't have. My prediction is at least 2009 if they don't get destroyed by USA and allies.


Hummm, well they have developed the Shahab-4 derived from the R-12. The Shahab-4 was said to be the base for the iranian orbital launch vheicle, but the project was abandoned. Later some sources stated that a stretched version of the Shahab-3 would be the basis of a space launcher that had it's first orbital atempt planned for 2005.

- http://www.spacetoday.org/Satellites/Iran/IranianSat.html
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3370143.stm
- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,61794,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_5
- http://www.spacedaily.com/news/microsat-04p.html

The 'fear' of an american intervention made that Russia proposed to launch the first iranian satellite... :o

Offline Spirit

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RE: ...and Iran?
« Reply #3 on: 10/08/2006 01:26 pm »
The upgraded Shahab-3 has capacity of 700 kg. So in order to launch a satellite, the upper stage and the satellite should not exceed 700 kg combined! Well, they won't be able to laucnh something heavier than 70 kg.
Regards,
Atanas

Offline Satori

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RE: ...and Iran?
« Reply #4 on: 10/08/2006 01:39 pm »
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Spirit - 8/10/2006  8:09 AM

The upgraded Shahab-3 has capacity of 700 kg. So in order to launch a satellite, the upper stage and the satellite should not exceed 700 kg combined! Well, they won't be able to laucnh something heavier than 70 kg.

Yeap! You're right! Notice that the launch mass of the Sinah-1 satellite was 20 kg.

Offline Spirit

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RE: ...and Iran?
« Reply #5 on: 10/08/2006 02:04 pm »
Regards,
Atanas

Offline Satori

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RE: ...and Iran?
« Reply #6 on: 10/08/2006 02:42 pm »
In the next times we can expect the launch of the Zoreh communications satellite by a 8K82K Proton-K russian launch vehicle and the launch of the Mesbah satellite (maybe by another 11K65M Kosmos-3M). For more info about the Mesbah see http://www.itrc.ac.ir/ist2005/Keynote/K5/MESBAH_Conf.pdf

At some point the Mesbah sat was going to be launched toghether with Sinah-1, but the launch was delayed. See also http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=24912# and http://www.iran-daily.com/1384/2482/html/index.htm .

Offline Danderman

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RE: ...and Iran?
« Reply #7 on: 10/08/2006 11:43 pm »
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Hummm, well they have developed the Shahab-4 derived from the R-12. The Shahab-4 was said to be the base for the iranian orbital launch vheicle, but the project was abandoned. Later some sources stated that a stretched version of the Shahab-3 would be the basis of a space launcher that had it's first orbital atempt planned for 2005.

Really? The Shahab-4 is based on the R-12? Does it actually exist?

Offline Satori

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RE: ...and Iran?
« Reply #8 on: 10/09/2006 12:04 am »
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Danderman - 8/10/2006  6:26 PM

Really? The Shahab-4 is based on the R-12? Does it actually exist?

Well, see http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iran/shahab-4.htm

Offline MartianBase

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RE: ...and Iran?
« Reply #9 on: 10/09/2006 03:35 am »
It's hard to tell what's real from Iran and what isn't - in August they claimed to have a new submarine missile but they test was bogus because of the smoke signature it was determined they stole an internet clip of a test from a foreign country and released it as a propaganda news report. The reason Tehran has a missile in the first place is because they got their hands on Korea's No-Dong missile technology, N.Koreans will have an IRBM long berfore Iran builds a real launcher. The bad news on Iran is they seem to be getting a nuclear program up and running, a war on three fronts would be difficult for the USA and any of the US troops in Iraq would be a prime target for their current missiles.

Offline meiza

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #10 on: 10/09/2006 11:42 am »
Somewhat related, North Korea just did an underground nuclear test, 15 kilotons.

Offline MartianBase

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #11 on: 10/11/2006 11:18 am »
I don't think it was as big as 15 kilotons

U.S. Geological Survey records 4.2 magnitude
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/10/09/asia/AS_GEN_Koreas_Nuclear_Quake.php
Anyway the N.Korean missile program isn't advanced enough to carry a warhead yet

Who knows maybe Iran will be the next October surprise

Offline TyMoore

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #12 on: 10/11/2006 06:37 pm »
I heard it was around 0.5 kilotons, which puts it suspiciusly in the realm of either a conventional blast (to make us think they have a working weapon in order to puff themselves up a bit,) or it was a nuclear fizzle (which indicates that their design is too crude to be used as a weapon yet.) Either way, they do not have anything small enough to be deliverable by their Taepo Dong or Nodong IRBM.

Offline Avron

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #13 on: 10/11/2006 08:37 pm »
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TyMoore - 11/10/2006  2:20 PM

I heard it was around 0.5 kilotons, which puts it suspiciusly in the realm of either a conventional blast (to make us think they have a working weapon in order to puff themselves up a bit,) or it was a nuclear fizzle (which indicates that their design is too crude to be used as a weapon yet.) Either way, they do not have anything small enough to be deliverable by their Taepo Dong or Nodong IRBM.


Hummm... nice play if it is one.. something the US would not say no... as its more money for CIA etc... just like the cold war... they know the truth but to confirm it would be to remove then need for themselves (CIA)...

Offline dbhyslop

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #14 on: 10/11/2006 09:02 pm »
I don't know the details of their shaft; but I imagine it would be quite a bit of trouble to assemble 100,000 lbs of TNT at the bottom of it.  If we believe a "trace" weapon is within their reach, I think we should assume they built one and it worked as advertised.

Online hop

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #15 on: 10/12/2006 12:23 am »
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dbhyslop - 11/10/2006  1:45 PM

I don't know the details of their shaft; but I imagine it would be quite a bit of trouble to assemble 100,000 lbs of TNT at the bottom of it.  If we believe a "trace" weapon is within their reach, I think we should assume they built one and it worked as advertised.

Wouldn't 0.5 KT be closer to 1 million lbs of TNT ?

Online MKremer

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #16 on: 10/12/2006 02:36 am »
No, KT is a measure of the equivalent explosive mass of TNT. So, 0.5KT would be equal to 1000lb of TNT (not that large an amount).


Online hop

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #17 on: 10/12/2006 03:33 am »
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MKremer - 11/10/2006  7:19 PM

No, KT is a measure of the equivalent explosive mass of TNT. So, 0.5KT would be equal to 1000lb of TNT (not that large an amount).

Huh ?
KT = kiloton = thousand tons TNT equiv.


Online MKremer

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #18 on: 10/12/2006 04:29 am »
Yup, you're correct in the inital post - forgot about the decimal point. :)  1KT = 1000*2000 lb = 2,000,000 lb
so 0.5KT = 1,000,000 lb TNT

Still, that's considered in TNT explosive weights, and modern explosive chemistry has compounds that have the same explosive force but mass much less than actual TNT. So 0.5KT still doesn't take *that* much mass/volume for modern conventional explosives.

That's assuming, of course, they were trying for a total 'fake-out', which doesn't seem to be the case. But, considering both tests are now being regarded as fizzles, and assuming they were using brute-force compression/critical mass methods, somewhere around 500tons or much more of TNT-equivalent explosives shouldn't be too far beyond assumption.

Offline TyMoore

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #19 on: 10/12/2006 06:18 am »
Even the most modern explosive compounds such as PETN, or RDX do not deliver more than a few times the explosive power of good ol' TNT, so the TNT equivalent is still a devently good measure of explosive power especially where nuclear explosives are concerned. It would take substantial engineering to carve out a cavity at the bottom of 10 ft diameter shaft big enough to emplace 300 tons of ammonium nitrate and sprinkle it with fuel oil. Still it could be done, especially if they think a 'fake' out would be politically worth it. My bottom dollar bet though says they tried a real nuke test, and it fizzled. If it fizzled, then there is a good chance that this was not an enriched uranium gun type bomb--which is an extremely inefficient (fissile material wise) but pretty reliable design, but an attempt at a real, honest to god implosion device. If that's the case, then their sophistication may be bit more than most folks give them credit for. If in the following weeks or months they test another one and it is 10-20 kt, then they may have something that is air deliverable, or road portable, but probably too heavy for their ballistic missiles.  And it will be many, many years before they develop a real strategic missile force able to project credible force across the globe. Still, it's a bit alarming...

Online hop

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #20 on: 10/12/2006 06:49 am »
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TyMoore - 11/10/2006  11:01 PM
carve out a cavity at the bottom of 10 ft diameter shaft big enough to emplace 300 tons of ammonium nitrate and sprinkle it with fuel oil. Still it could be done, especially if they think a 'fake' out would be politically worth it.
Of course, they would have known in advance that a blast of that size would be seen as a failure or possible fake. Faking a failed nuke test seems a bit illogical, even by NK standards. Unless their fake fizzled :)
Quote
My bottom dollar bet though says they tried a real nuke test, and it fizzled.
That seems like the simplest of many possible explanations.

Offline MartianBase

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #21 on: 10/12/2006 09:01 am »
Some recordings: 4.3 magnitude
http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/national/news/20061009p2a00m0na028000c.html
4.2 magnitude
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Quakes/ustqab.php
Seems like a Yield of about 3 Kilotonnes and his Nuke detonator might have been a little off. Its not uncommon to see bombs of this yield, the Baker-II Nuke by the USA at the Nevada Test Site and British Nuke 'Kite' during Operation Antler was about this size

Offline Spirit

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RE: ...and Iran?
« Reply #22 on: 10/12/2006 08:47 pm »
Shahab-4 was scrubbed because Shahab-3 was upgraded and there was no need to develope Shahab-4. See http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/shahab3.htm and http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/shahab4.htm
Regards,
Atanas

Offline MartianBase

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Offline Satori

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #24 on: 01/26/2007 10:06 am »
And we have news from Iran!!!! A space launch soon??

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/IRAN01257.xml

Offline Radioheaded

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #25 on: 01/26/2007 12:51 pm »
Slightly OT, but I wonder how long it will be before Isreal steps in with a pre-emptive strike? They pulled no punches with Saddam in the 80's, and there is no doubt that the Iranians are far more of a serious threat to their existance than Iraq ever was.  Perhaps a space launch would awaken others in Europe and elsewhere...... though I doubt it.   Anyone who thinks this is for peaceful purposes, please contact me about a rather large bridge I'd like to sell  ;)
I know only enough to know that I don't know....

Offline mr.columbus

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #26 on: 01/26/2007 03:36 pm »
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Radioheaded - 26/1/2007  8:51 AM

Slightly OT, but I wonder how long it will be before Isreal steps in with a pre-emptive strike? They pulled no punches with Saddam in the 80's, and there is no doubt that the Iranians are far more of a serious threat to their existance than Iraq ever was.  Perhaps a space launch would awaken others in Europe and elsewhere...... though I doubt it.   Anyone who thinks this is for peaceful purposes, please contact me about a rather large bridge I'd like to sell  ;)

Iran is a different category than Iraq in the 80s. Iran has over 70 million people and has a large and actually moderately effective military and air force. A pre-emptive strike against any target in Iran is currently not only no political option for Israel, without US cruise missile capabilities (or air support) it is also not feasible.

As to an orbital launch by Iran, I am unsure why that should be regarded as a threat. What threat is the capability of delivering a 50kg space probe with its own launcher, if they use foreign launch crafts to launch real satellites into orbit already? A threat for neighbouring countries is the ability to deliver large payloads by medium and long range ballistic missles. Orbital launches of very small payloads is no threat to anyone.

With regard to Iran's nuclear program, it should be noted that Iran is still a party to the NPT and the IAEA is still able to inspect their nuclear facilities. An IAEA report from a year back found no trace of a nuclear weapons program in Iran and the IAEA still - despite the not very cooperative Iranians - insists that it is unlikely that Iran is actively working on a nuclear bomb.

Offline Radioheaded

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #27 on: 01/26/2007 04:51 pm »
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mr.columbus - 26/1/2007  11:36 AM

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Radioheaded - 26/1/2007  8:51 AM

Slightly OT, but I wonder how long it will be before Isreal steps in with a pre-emptive strike? They pulled no punches with Saddam in the 80's, and there is no doubt that the Iranians are far more of a serious threat to their existance than Iraq ever was.  Perhaps a space launch would awaken others in Europe and elsewhere...... though I doubt it.   Anyone who thinks this is for peaceful purposes, please contact me about a rather large bridge I'd like to sell  ;)

Iran is a different category than Iraq in the 80s. Iran has over 70 million people and has a large and actually moderately effective military and air force. A pre-emptive strike against any target in Iran is currently not only no political option for Israel, without US cruise missile capabilities (or air support) it is also not feasible.

As to an orbital launch by Iran, I am unsure why that should be regarded as a threat. What threat is the capability of delivering a 50kg space probe with its own launcher, if they use foreign launch crafts to launch real satellites into orbit already? A threat for neighbouring countries is the ability to deliver large payloads by medium and long range ballistic missles. Orbital launches of very small payloads is no threat to anyone.


Agreed that Iraq was different animal all together.  Don't, however, expect Israel to wait to be attacked. political implications mean nothing when the existence of your nation is at risk.

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With regard to Iran's nuclear program, it should be noted that Iran is still a party to the NPT and the IAEA is still able to inspect their nuclear facilities. An IAEA report from a year back found no trace of a nuclear weapons program in Iran and the IAEA still - despite the not very cooperative Iranians - insists that it is unlikely that Iran is actively working on a nuclear bomb.

And with all due respect MrColumbus (and trying not to go to far OT Chris :) ) If we underestimate the Iranians and Ahmadinejad, the consequences may be unthinkable. Just a quick anecdote about pres Ahmadinejad; As you may have heard the story, (if not you can google it)about how during a speech to the UN in 2005, as he was IIRC speaking about the return of the 12th Imam ( I recommend reading about what he views as his "role" in that is also) he claims he was surrounded by a light from heaven, and that he basically entranced the listening diplomats.  Here's a statement about  that (the he that he refers to is an aid that was with him):"He said when you began with the words 'in the name of God,' I saw that you became surrounded by a light until the end ..... I felt that all of a sudden the atmosphere changed there, and for 27-28 minutes all the leaders did not blink... ..I am not exaggerating when I say they did not blink; it's not an exaggeration, because I was looking.....They were astonished as if a hand held them there and made them sit. It had opened their eyes and ears for the message of the Islamic Republic." And One more on his stance on Isreal, as he was quoting the late Ayatollah Khomeini: "As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off" the map."  Seems to me that nukes would be a pretty efficient way to do that.  One detonation in Tel Aviv, and Israel is incapacitated.

Now to try (though poorly) to get this post back on topic, though their ability to launch small payloads in and of itself is not a threat, the knowledge gained by incremental advances like that will lead to more capable delivery systems.  That is where the threat is.  

edit: (sorry Chris, please delete this post if you think it proper, I just wanted to give some more insight into my statements in that earlier post, and I don't think people realize what a LUNATIC their president is  :(  )


I know only enough to know that I don't know....

Offline mr.columbus

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #28 on: 01/26/2007 05:52 pm »
I did not want to go too OT myself, but I still would like to reply to that last post. I wanted to outline above that despite all the media rumble in the United States with regard to the Iranian nuclear program, it should be noted that, other than in North Korea for many years now, there are IAEA inspectors on site in Iran visiting the various nuclear facilities and they say that to the best of their knowledge there is no nuclear bomb program going on. I know that the Iranian President (who by the way not the executive power than for comparison the US President or the French President - he is only second in command) is a lunatic, but that does not change the facts. And I also believe that unless Iran pulls out of the NPT or heavily obstructs the work of the IAEA inspectors there cannot be an actual, active nuclear bomb program in Iran.

On the possible orbital launch, I only wanted to note above that converting a medium sized ballistic missile to carry a small upperstage and payload to orbit is not a threat, neither as a development stage for larger rockets still to come (you do not need an orbital launch of a smaller rocket to build larger rockets obviously) nor as a development step that might be considered a threat of itself.


Offline TyMoore

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #29 on: 01/26/2007 06:43 pm »
On the other hand, a multistage vehicle that can place a small (let's say 50 kg or 100 kg) payload into LEO will very likely have a first stage which could possibly be derived from or built into a short range ballistic missile with significant (1000-4000 kg) throw weight to toss a relatively crude but effective nuclear weapon a relatively short distance (say 150km to 300 km). No Titan II-class or Minuteman III-class needed there...

Still, Iran all by itself cannot hope to achieve parity with current US or Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces any time soon. However, they don't have to--they just need to be able to make enough noise for the rest of the world to take them seriously. And that is enough to make us take them seriously now...


Still, I don't feel particularly 'threatened' by an Iran that has a space launch capability. But then I am comfortably in Northern California. If I lived in Tel Aviv, I might feel differently!

It would be nice to live in a world where friendly, good spirited competition and enthusiastic copperation in space projects was the norm. >Sigh<

Oh well...



Offline aero313

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #30 on: 01/26/2007 07:43 pm »
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TyMoore - 26/1/2007  2:43 PM
Still, I don't feel particularly 'threatened' by an Iran that has a space launch capability. But then I am comfortably in Northern California. If I lived in Tel Aviv, I might feel differently!

Just remember that a launch vehicle capable of putting a satellite into orbit is also capable of delivering a warhead to any point on the globe - albeit not necessarily with any particular accuracy.  How does that old saying go?  Close only counts in horseshoes...and nuclear weapons.

On the other hand, a successful launch, coupled with the Chinese ASAT test, could be the best thing to happen to MDA's budget in a long time...

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #31 on: 01/26/2007 09:18 pm »
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TyMoore - 26/1/2007  1:43 PM

On the other hand, a multistage vehicle that can place a small (let's say 50 kg or 100 kg) payload into LEO will very likely have a first stage which could possibly be derived from or built into a short range ballistic missile with significant (1000-4000 kg) throw weight to toss a relatively crude but effective nuclear weapon a relatively short distance (say 150km to 300 km). No Titan II-class or Minuteman III-class needed there...

Still, Iran all by itself cannot hope to achieve parity with current US or Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces any time soon. However, they don't have to--they just need to be able to make enough noise for the rest of the world to take them seriously. And that is enough to make us take them seriously now...


Still, I don't feel particularly 'threatened' by an Iran that has a space launch capability. But then I am comfortably in Northern California. If I lived in Tel Aviv, I might feel differently!

It would be nice to live in a world where friendly, good spirited competition and enthusiastic copperation in space projects was the norm. >Sigh<

Oh well...



Here's a paragraph from Mike Griffin's recent speech at the Quasar Awards:


Let’s think for a moment about national security. What is the value to the United States of being involved in enterprises which lift up human hearts everywhere when we do them? What is the value to the United States of being engaged in such projects, doing the kinds of things that other people want to do with us, as partners? What is the value to the United States of being a leader in such efforts, in projects in which every nation capable of doing so wants to take part? I would submit that the highest possible form of national security, well above having better guns and bombs than everyone else, well above being so strong that no one wants to fight with us, is the security which comes from being a nation which does the kinds of things that make others want to work with us to do them. What security could we ever ask that would be better than that, and what give more of it to us than the space program?



I think that the sooner we invite the Iranians and the Chinese to join us in the exploration of space, the better.  We did it with the Soviets, we should be able to do it with anyone.


...and don't get me started on lunatic presidents. :o





Offline TyMoore

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #32 on: 01/27/2007 01:39 am »
I think that eventually the economics of space industrialization (and the prosperity that is generated by that process) will encourage other countries to join the 'bandwagon.'  I think you make a good case about National Security--as long as there are opportunities for other countries to persue what is in their own best interest--and as long as that persuit does not conflict with other countries--then it will be 'economical' to remain peaceful. Despite how naive this may actually sound--I think that ultimately it is the only way that all of us humans can actually live in peace.

A launch vehicle capable of putting a 50kg satellite into orbit is certainly capable of delivering a warhead anywhere, but the warhead must be very small. A minimum mass RV alone will probably be very close to this mass, and an actual nuclear device (boosted fission) will probably be in the neighborhood of 50 kg too--if it is a sophisticated modern device. A crude, 'low technology'  device will mass an order of magnitude more.  While this is not insurmountable by any means, this is still a challenging device to build. And the limited yield of such a device (no more than 10-15 kilotons I would imagine--comparable to the Persing 2 tactical warhead.) Doable, but difficult for a country like Iran. And it would be difficult for them to field such a weapon in numbers sufficient to be a 'seriuous' strategic threat. Not to make little of the threat to one or several major cities--but in the unlikely event of a direct strategic attack from Iran with nuclear balistic missiles they could not hope to surprise the US or cripple the US in a missile attack. And the US could always retaliate on a much vaster scale.

This is why I tend to think that the best utility of remaining US nuclear forces is as a strategic deterrent to other prospective nuclear powers....

Offline 02hurnella

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Re: ...and Iran?
« Reply #33 on: 04/04/2007 03:20 pm »
I've heard of an iranian "IRIS" its a modified missile isnt it. Didn't they try and launch a suborbital vehicle a little while ago?

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