Iran launches its first domestic satellite

February 3rd, 2009 - 1:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, Feb 3 (RIA Novosti) Iran carried into orbit its first domestically-produced satellite Tuesday, the country’s national TV said.The research satellite named Omid (Hope), which contains communications and digital equipment, was carried into orbit by a home-made launch vehicle, Safir (Messenger).

The launch was planned to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

The Iranian satellite is due to orbit for up to three months before returning to Earth with data which will enable Iranian scientists to produce an operational satellite.

In November 2008, Iran launched a carrier space rocket, Kavoshgar 2 (Explorer 2), that returned to earth after completing its mission.

The Islamic Republic plans to send exploratory rockets into space with live animals on board, paving the way for manned space flights.

The launches have aroused concerns throughout the world that Tehran is developing long-range ballistic missile technology that could be used to launch nuclear weapons. Iran insists that its space programme has no military goals.

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