Iran has successfully placed into orbit its first military satellite, the country’s Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday.
The satellite called Noor (Light) was placed into an orbit located 425 kilometers (624 miles) above the Earth’s surface by a two-stage carrier Qassed (Envoy).
The launch, which was conducted by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), comes after Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami rejected in February allegations issued by the US that the satellite carriers could be turned into military missiles and that the recent unsuccessful launch of a Zafar satellite was part of Iran’s missile programme.
“The satellite launch and satellite carrier […] are not related to missile [programme]”, Hatami pointed out.
He pledged that despite opposition from some foreign countries, Iran will continue to develop its satellite programme. According to Hatami, while the carrier doesn’t have any military applications, the satellite that it will eventually take into orbit could be used for defensive purposes by the Islamic Republic.
The comments came after Iran failed to deliver a Zafar (“Victory” in Farsi) satellite into orbit after its launch on 9 February due to the rocket not gaining enough acceleration.
“The launch vehicle successfully launched the Zafar satellite into space, but the rocket could not gain the necessary speed to put it into orbit. Necessary optimization work will be carried out for the next launch”, Iranian Defence Ministry spokesman Ahmad Hosseini said in a statement at the time.
Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad-Jawad Azari Jahromi, who oversees the satellite’s development, admitted, for his part, that the launch failed but remained upbeat back then that Iran is “unstoppable”.
Today “Zafar” satellite launch failed. Like many scientific projects, Failure happened. FALCON 9, Juno II, ATLAS, PROTON M, ANTARES are just few samples of US launch failures.
But We’re UNSTOPPABLE! We have more Upcoming Great Iranian Satellites! ?
— MJ Azari Jahromi (@azarijahromi) February 9, 2020
The launch was preceded by two other unsuccessful attempts to put the Zafar satellite, designed to gather data on earthquakes and other natural disasters from space, into Earth’s orbit.
Original News : https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202004221079051307-iran-irgc-reportedly-launches-its-first-military-satellite-into-orbit/