Iran announced that it has successfully launched its second national satellite, Rasad, on Wednesday.

Iranian media report that Rasad is the country’s first image-taking satellite that was completely conceived and built domestically.

The satellite’s mission is reportedly to receive commands from terrestrial stations to capture specific ground-level images and send them back to those stations along with other measurements and information it has gathered by remote.

According to Iranian media, the Rasad is equipped with solar panels, a power-management system, situation-control capabilities, optical loads, GPS, an on-board input-and-command management system, an on-board receiver and transmitter, as well as a ranging transmitter and a temperature-control system.

The Rasad satellite was build at Malek Ashtar University in Tehran, a technology centre linked to the Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Hamid Fazeli, the head of Iran’s Space Agency, told Channel 2 state television that the satellite is now following its planned orbit, circling the earth every 90 minutes and has a two-month life cycle. He said three more satellites will be launched within the year.

Last winter, Iran launched a rocket carrying such biological cargo as a turtle, worms and rats into space.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced last February that within 10 years, Iran will be able to send humans into space.