Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Iran Launch Claims Brought Down To Earth
The Iranians are suspected to have used an upgraded Shahab 3 for their space rocket test.
The Iranians are suspected to have used an upgraded Shahab 3 for their space rocket test.
by Stuart Williams
Tehran (AFP) Feb 25, 2007
Iran said on Sunday it had successfully launched its first rocket into space for research purposes, at a time of mounting tension with the West over its nuclear programme. The rocket reached an altitude of 150 kilometres (93 miles) but did not stay in orbit, said Ali Akbar Golrou, deputy head of Iran's aerospace research centre.

He described the rocket as a "sounding rocket" -- one used for research purposes -- and said it returned to earth with the aid of a parachute, the Fars news agency reported.

"The first space rocket has been successfully launched into space," a state television anchor announced.

"The rocket was carrying material intended for research created by the ministries of science and defence," Mohsen Bahrami, the head of the aerospace centre, told the channel.

He did not give further details on the nature of the payload. State television has yet to broadcast pictures of the launch.

The altitude of 150 kilometres is above the internationally accepted boundary between the earth's atmosphere and space, which is agreed at 100 kilometres (62 miles) above the surface and is known as the Karman line.

Such an altitude means the rocket reached the lower part of the earth's thermosphere at an altitude slightly below that required by satellites and well off the exosphere at the upper limit of the earth's atmosphere.

Iran's claim of success in launching a space rocket appears to be the first major step towards its stated ambition of putting home-made satellites into space using Iranian-made rockets.

The country has in recent years pressed ahead with a nascent space programme, which has already seen an Iranian Russian-made satellite put into orbit by a Russian rocket in October 2005.

That satellite, Sina-1, was Iran's first -- and so far only -- probe to be launched into space, and was described by the Iranian press at the time as being for research and telecommunications.

Iran has said it plans to construct and launch several more satellites over the next three years.

Officials were quick to emphasise that the rocket had been manufactured using Iran's own resources, echoing similar statements about its nuclear programme.

"All the tests (leading up to the launch) have been carried out in the country's industrial facilities in line with international regulations," said Bahrami.

"The manufacture of the rocket and the cargo was achieved by experts at the centre of aerospace research and the engineering centre at the ministry of agricultural planning," he added.

Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najar said the US trade embargo imposed after the Islamic revolution in 1979 had spurred Iran to press ahead with its own space programme.

"The sanctions of the enemies in the area of aerospace have allowed us to develop our aviation, space and electronics industries," he said.

"We are working on constructing satellites and on rockets capable of launching a satellite into space."

The Islamic republic has recently boasted of its scientists' progress not just in nuclear energy but also in medicine, where it has announced the development of new therapies for AIDS and spinal-cord disorder patients.

It has also said it is developing a plasma-thrusting engine to help guide satellites in its space programme.

Iran's announcement that it has succeeded in launching its first rocket into space comes amid mounting tensions with the United States over Tehran's nuclear programme, which Washington alleges is a cover for weapons development.

OPEC's number two producer denies the charges, saying its atomic drive is solely aimed at supply energy for a growing population.

US Vice President Dick Cheney on Saturday reignited speculation of US military intervention in Iran when he said Washington favours a diplomatic approach to Tehran's atomic programme but that "all options are still on the table."

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
Launch Pad at
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express

  • South Korean Astronauts Set For Training In Russia
  • Astronauts Urged To Take Up Skiing Ahead Of Lunar Missions
  • Next Space Tourist Dreams Of Library In Orbit
  • Russia Confirms Start Of Countdown For Fifth Space Tourist

  • Spirit Continues Driving While Engineers Check Robotic Arm
  • Are Human Beings The Biggest Risk Factor In Long-Term Space Missions
  • Opportunity Continues To Characterize Crater
  • Hunting Martian Fossils Best Bet For Locating Mars Life

  • Iran Claims Of Satellite Launch Brought Down To Earth
  • Satellite Launcher Arianespace Seeks To Boost US Business
  • Russia Space Agency Hopes Sea Launch Will Resume Operation In 2007
  • SERVIS-2 To Be Launched On Rockot

  • GeoEye Makes Final Debt Payment For The Purchase Of Space Imaging
  • Gascom To Launch 4 Smotr Low-Orbit Remote Sensing Satellites
  • Canada And US Launch Satellite Mapping Project Of North America
  • Brazilian Satellite Undergoes Environmental Tests

  • Campaigning For Jupiter Broadens The Horizons Of Planetary Science
  • All Calm On Approach To Jupiter For Flyby
  • New Horizons SWAP Instrument Observes Solar Wind Interactions Before Jupiter Encounter
  • One Year Down, Eight to Go, On The Road to Pluto

  • Spitzer First to Crack Open Light of Faraway Worlds
  • New Observations Show Sun-Like Star In Earliest Stage Of Development
  • Peering Into The Pillars Of Creation
  • First X-Ray Detection Of A Colliding-Wind Binary Beyond Milky Way

  • Camping On The Moon Will Be One Far Out Experience
  • Why Are We Fighting For The Moon Again
  • AIAA Recommends Actions For Implementation Of Lunar Settlements
  • The Moon Is A School For Exploration

  • Lockheed Martin Team Qualifies To Bid On First FAA Nextgen Program
  • China Puts New Navigation Satellite Into Orbit
  • Activists Hunting Japanese Whalers Offer Cash Reward For GPS Coordinates
  • GPS Upgrade Will Require Complicated Choreography

  • The contents herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2005 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy statement