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Iran Has Put a Satellite Into Orbit 923

Posted by timothy
from the up-in-the-air-junior-birdman dept.
Dekortage writes "'Dear Iranian nation, your children have placed the first indigenous satellite into orbit,' announced Iran's President Ahmadinejad yesterday. The satellite, named Omid ('hope'), was launched to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. Video shown on Iranian television shows a Safir-2 rocket rising into the sky, as a follow-up to a test firing last August."
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Iran Has Put a Satellite Into Orbit

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  • Citation Needed? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tb3 (313150) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:06AM (#26708561) Homepage

    I dunno, but I'd like to see some third party confirmation before I believe that Iran has a satellite in orbit. Launching a satellite and putting it in orbit is a tricky thing to do; only a few countries have managed it, and none the size or technology level of Iran, IIRC.

    Honestly, look at this list [wikipedia.org]. One of these things in not like the others.

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd@bandrowsky.gmail@com> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:13AM (#26708651) Homepage Journal

    I'd take Iran at face value for everything they say. They are going to get a nuclear capability. They are going to get a delivery system. They are going to act to expand their values world wide. Israel is only the beginning.

    We should not be surprised with this. The Western nations have been at odds with Islamic nations for 1500 years, and with Persia for nearly 3000. That Persia now Iran is acting up again is hardly a surprise. One might surmise that in the grand scheme of things, this is just a conflict between ideologies and peoples and no one side is right, but the thing is, since most of us are westerners, we would prefer that our side prevail.

    To that end, I suppose that those who would argue that strategic missile defense cannot be built, or that militarization of space should be avoided, or that Iran is not a threat, need to rethink that. And similarly, those that would advocate war with Iran, might need to rethink that as well. This now a game where tens of millions of people might get killed, not just thousands.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you Western types want to have a World War 3 so soon, count us out. We may not honor-kill and we may have high technology, but we are a Middle-Eastern civilization and we see no reason to side with a group of so-called "friends" who spend their media time calling us Nazis over ancient "friends" who turned against us in fundamentalism 30 years ago. We'll just protect ourselves like we always have.

      Sincerely,
      The Jews

    • Troll (Score:5, Informative)

      by hotsauce (514237) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:27AM (#26708853)

      "Acting up"? *Sigh* Why do I respond to trolls?

      Go read a bit of modern Iranian history [wikipedia.org], before you fall back on stereotypes of Islam-vs-the-rest-of-the-world. If it hadn't been for our meddling (oh, overthrowing governments, oil grabs etc--none of this is controversial), Iran would not be in confrontation with us today. Twenty years after the revolution, they tried peace overtures, but Bush decided instead to dub them an "Axis of Evil" (wow, thank god our era of world-as-cartoon presidents is over). I can't understand your claim of Iran expanding its values into Israel.

      We have no right to overthrow other people's governments, and even less right to act surprised when they get pissed over it. And speaking of Israel: when they behave all might is right, others are going to try to acquire might to counter that.

    • by Theaetetus (590071) <<theaetetus.slashdot> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:28AM (#26708875) Homepage Journal

      To that end, I suppose that those who would argue that strategic missile defense cannot be built, or that militarization of space should be avoided, or that Iran is not a threat, need to rethink that.

      Strategic missile defense is a waste of money and effort, equivalent to airport metal detectors. They're security theater - if successful, they may prevent an attack from that vector, but their real value lies in making the citizens feel safer and deterring attempts along that one vector.

      Problem is, there are so many other vectors that are easier - millions if not billions of shipping containers enter the US each year entirely uninspected. Why mess with a launch and guidance system able to withstand launch and reentry stresses when you could just build a Fat Man and put it in the back of a van?
      Want a scarier idea? Say we do start inspecting all the shipping containers to enter the country... where would we do it? Probably dockside in major coastal cities, so even if we do happen to check the right container, a simple deadman switch would still make for a successful attack.

      Defense is not the solution, and security theater is just a waste.

      • Wrong. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tjstork (137384) <todd@bandrowsky.gmail@com> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @11:08AM (#26709571) Homepage Journal

        Why mess with a launch and guidance system able to withstand launch and reentry stresses when you could just build a Fat Man and put it in the back of a van?

        Because the missile is better.

        It doesn't take more than a half an hour to hit the USA. It doesn't have any risks in transportation. You can't practically recall a ballistic missile after it has been launched. You can launch a missile ad-hoc, and finally, a missile launched high above the USA fries all of our electrical shit. Fatman in the truck can't do any of that.

        The smuggled weapon in the back of the truck, on the other hand, requires every single person on the way to not notice, or actively participate in the delivery of the weapon. And, it's less effective militarily.

        The thing about container ships, is that there are not that many of them, as they are so big these days, that stopping them and tracking them is actually pretty practical. You can monitor a ship as its sailing all the way from Iran or an Arabian port all the way to the USA. You can fly geiger counters over it and around it to look for neutrons coming out of it. There's just way more risk for the delivery and its not a good deterrent.

        Defense is not the solution, and security theater is just a waste

        If defense is not the solution, then why preach birth control? Defense doesn't solve everything, but it does increase the probability of failure to an attacker, so that he or she won't attack, and also reduces the likelihood of the attacker of spreading that attack to other parties. To put it another way, if Hitler had been stopped in France, do you think he still invades Russia?

      • by roystgnr (4015) <roystgnr&ticam,utexas,edu> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @11:10AM (#26709615) Homepage

        Why mess with a launch and guidance system able to withstand launch and reentry stresses when you could just build a Fat Man and put it in the back of a van?

        Because the former can go from "mere deterrent" to "enemy city exploding" in an hour, can't be countered without even more advanced technology, and gives you deterrence value for decades. The latter can go from "act of war that we'd better hope nobody discovers" to "enemy port city exploding" in days, doesn't work well if the enemy is on heightened enough alert to search or blockade approaching vans and ships, can't be demonstrated without actually committing an act of war, and so is relatively useless as a deterrent. Vans may be the delivery system of choice for terrorists planning surprise attacks, but nations hoping to commit other acts of war without reprisal are going to want nuclear weapons that can be effectively brandished without being used.

        Not that I'm accusing Iran of plotting wars; the same deterrence tactics for a nation that wants to get away with an invasion apply even more strongly one that is just afraid of being invaded.

      • by icebrain (944107) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @11:15AM (#26709697)

        Other attack vectors (smuggling in warheads by sea/land) may be technically easier and more likely, but (being cold about it) the end damage potential is much less. If terrorists set off a bomb or two, there's lots of damage, but the rest of the country is still intact. But if a missile launches, the end result is basically that all the missiles fly. And that ruins everyone's day.

        To quote Stuart Slade, defense analyst (emphasis mine):

        The problem with missiles is this; once they are fired, they are on their way. Nothing can stop them (in the sense that the launch decision is final; contrary to many people's opinion, ICBMs do not have a destruct system - ones fired on range testing do, but operational ones do not) and nothing can prevent them striking their targets. The other problem is that they are very fast-moving and give the forces on the other side very little chance to decide what is happening and why. If a launch is detected now, the President has less time to make his decision over future action than most people to chose their meal at a restaurant.

        Thrown into that is the inevitability of the whole thing; a missile fired means a target hit. Unless the wretched thing malfunctions, of course, but nuclear weapons are not a good place to start relying on luck. So the simple fact that a missile is on its way means that a country is about to have some fairly catastrophic damage inflicted on it. But is that all? Is that first missile the start of a salvo? Is it aimed at the deterrent forces on the ground - so that any response will be ragged? Without going too deeply into the dynamics of the decision (that would take a book rather than an answer to a question on an essay), the odds stack so that if a missile is inbound, it requires immense faith and courage not to return fire. That's step one.

        Now we go to step two. The nation that has let one fly either by accident or design. Its government knows that the "other side" has immense pressure on it to return fire, that the odds in the decision-making process stack in favor of opening fire. If they hang around and wait to see what will happen, the rest of their forces get caught on the ground - and destroyed. So they require immense faith and courage not to continue firing.

        Step three - the nation that is being fired on knows that the other guys are working on the basis that the odds stack in favor of continuing firing. That ends it; they know the other guys will open fire, so even if they had decided not to, they will reverse that decision. The guys who fired first know that so, even if they had decided not to fire, they reverse that decision.

        Everybody fires, everybody dies. More or less. Both sides know it so they don't bother with the question. One flies, they all fly. The only question is the timing.

        How does BMD figure into this? It buys time. A single missile inbound can be shot down reasonably easily. So if a single inbound is detected, it can be shot down - stopped from reaching its target. That takes the dreadful time squeeze out - both sides can afford to wait to see what happens. The side that is being shot at can see what develops and also contact the other side and ask. Not a joke - that may be the most important single step. The side that let one fly by accident knows that the other side is going to wait so they can also afford to do so. And the whole situation is a lot cooler.

        That's not to say we shouldn't secure ports and borders and all that. We certainly should. But we can't ignore the less-likely but potentially more catastrophic threat, either. The "we can't stop everything, so let's do nothing" approach is stupid, too.

        It should also be noted that the US had a working missile defense system in the 70s.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rolgar (556636)

        There is another value, and that is at the negotiating table. If you have a very good defense (which we are no way near), you basically discount the military value of the other guy's weapon, which can give you an edge in negotiations. Unfortunately, the amount of coverage necessary to protect every target might make the cost hugely preventative, unless you can put the defense near the launch point, which is probably unlikely in the case of defending against Iranian nukes.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:37AM (#26709031) Journal
      Dear Sir,

      I understand your request for mobilization, I understand that the Western world is in great peril. Please be assured of my everlasting support to your cause against these 1500 years (or 3000 years or something...) old enemies. I would be glad to help but I am currently too busy digging some trenches to protect me from our neighbors. See, my nation is fighting since 1000 years (or 2000 or whatever) against the Germanic people. Our feud is so old that I think reconciliation may prove impossible. All we can do is arm for war.

      Please be assured of my deepest sympathy
      A French guy.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Shakrai (717556)

        Our feud is so old that I think reconciliation may prove impossible

        The GP didn't say reconciliation is impossible. The GP said that the Western world has a history of clashing with the Islamic/Middle Eastern World. I see nothing in human history to suggest that this will change soon -- if anything it's going to get worse as the competition for limited resources heats up.

        Mind you, it won't start with bullets -- it will start with economics.

    • by fantomas (94850) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @01:12PM (#26712355)

      Really, grow up. War isn't a game.

      I think it is maybe perceived more so by the USA as the majority of their citizens have not experienced a modern war on their own mainland territory. For many people in other countries the experience of war is more direct and people are less likely to be so gung-ho about it. Mainland USA was untouched in the major conflicts of the twentieth century. While terrible events were unfolding the lights were on in Main Street, small town America and you could walk down that street eating ice cream as if nothing was happening. I honestly believe this has given Americans a profoundly different idea of what a war is from the majority of the rest of the world.

      Don't talk lightly of wars, they are certainly not games.

  • Congratulations (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:15AM (#26708681)

    The mark of a civilised mind would be to celebrate this achievement. Those gripped by tribal paranoia, searching for ways to disparage the Iranians should take a good look at themselves (I'm mainly looking at you now Americans). Relax, I've played football with some Iranian guys seen for myself in the shower, their dicks are not significantly bigger than the average Western male.

  • Wake up call (Score:3, Insightful)

    by squoozer (730327) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:23AM (#26708791)

    The next 50 years or so are going to be a serious wake up call to the west and the US in particular I think. We have enjoyed a technological advantage over the rest of the world for a good while now but it is being eroded at a fantastic rate. That advantage has allowed us to push the rest of the world and I fear that will come back to haunt us. Back when the west was first launching things into space the knowledge, skill and equipment needed to build such machines was exceedingly difficult to come by. It's still not easy to launch a payload into space but the equipment required to build a launch vehicle is no longer hard to come by and the knowledge and skill can be fairly easily "bought".

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Shakrai (717556)

      We have enjoyed a technological advantage over the rest of the world for a good while now but it is being eroded at a fantastic rate

      Sounds like a reason to increase our funding of the science adviser guy at the expense of the elvis guy ;) We'll just hide behind our nukes/great wall/united nations for a few turns while we fund him, then switch to fundamentalism and take care of those Persian bastards once and for all!

  • by wiredog (43288) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @11:12AM (#26709631) Journal

    From The Beeb [bbc.co.uk]: Mr Ahmadinejad said the satellite was launched to spread "monotheism, peace and justice" in the world.

    Interesting. I wonder how the polytheist countries feel about this?

  • suspicion of iran (Score:4, Interesting)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [erauqssemitelcric]> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @11:16AM (#26709725) Homepage Journal

    has nothing to do with being pro-israel, or pro-western, or anti-muslim

    suspicion of iran has to do with it being a theocracy. doesn't matter that it is a muslim or christian theocracy, or whether it is located in the middle east, or south america, or antarctica. the issue is it being a theocracy. begnning of valid concern about iran, end of valid concern about iran

    if someone is concerned about iran, it very well could be for mindless ethnocentrism, religious bigotry, or tibal chest thumping reasons. it is very easy to be concerned about iran for the lowest and most disgraceful reasons

    but someone can also be concerned about iran simply from a strictly globalist, humanist, universal, highminded reason:

    a theocracy is a very bad thing

    why?

    we are talking about a government that has, ensconced in its constituion, a bunch of grumpy old men, who are above all law or ability to be questioned, who act in the name of god, and have a monopoly on interpretting the will of god, according to law. that doesn't bother you?

    power in iran is not ahmadinejad. power is in the ayatollahs. ahmadinejad is a figurehead. he does not hold the final power. the ayatollahs can freely choose to disavow any candidate form office, and have done so exorbitantly in past elections to disallow popular reform candidates from running

    would you consider it a problem if the pope could, without any ability to question or veto his decision, walk into the elections in germany, or the usa, or great britain, and simply cherry pick the candidates he wants to run?

    again, the problem is not islam. the problem is not the middle east. the problem is not being anti-israeli. the problem is not being anti-western. all of these instincts are perfectly valid and defensible world views

    the problem is with iran being a THEOCRACY. on that issue alone, is suspicion of iran perfectly valid, from either a pro-western or anti-western point of view

    pay attention to the below text... this government is going to get a nuclear warhead:

    http://www.iranonline.com/iran/iran-info/Government/constitution-1.html [iranonline.com]

    The Islamic Republic is a system based on belief in:
    1.the One God (as stated in the phrase "There is no god except Allah"), His exclusive sovereignty and the right to legislate, and the necessity of submission to His commands;
    2.Divine revelation and its fundamental role in setting forth the laws;
    3.the return to God in the Hereafter, and the constructive role of this belief in the course of man's ascent towards God;
    4.the justice of God in creation and legislation;
    5.continuous leadership (imamah) and perpetual guidance, and its fundamental role in ensuring the uninterrupted process of the revolution of Islam;
    6.the exalted dignity and value of man, and his freedom coupled with responsibility before God

    so these grumpy old men, with a monopoly on intepretting what the will of god is, are about to get control over a nuclear warhead

    and people wish to say that if you are concerned about this, you must be some brain dead tribal pro-western muslim hater?

    really?

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