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Iran successfully launches research satellite into space

Iran has successfully launched a domestically-built satellite carrier rocket, named Simorgh (Phoenix), sending three research devices into space, the Defense Ministry says.

“In this space research mission, for the first time, three research devices were launched simultaneously at an altitude of 470 kilometers and at a speed of 7,350 meters per second,” a spokesman for the ministry, Ahmad Hosseini, said on Thursday.

He said the space center’s components performed flawlessly and the stages of the satellite carrier’s launch took place according to plans. “Finally, the intended research goals [of the mission] were fulfilled,” Hosseini said.

Hosseini said the launch followed several achievements in the Islamic Republic’s civilian space program. 

In 2017, Iran’s Imam Khomeini Space Center successfully launched the Simorgh carrier with a mission of putting satellites into the orbit.

“We will speed up work so that we can become one of the six countries that can launch satellites into the GEO (geostationary) orbit,” he added.

The United States has expressed concern that Iran’s satellite launches are part of an effort by the Islamic Republic to develop ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

Iran, which has long maintained its nuclear program is entirely civilian in nature, says its satellite launches and rocket tests do not have a military component.

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