Iran Launches Satellite into Orbit

Iran launched its first functioning satellite into orbit late Monday using a modified long-range missile to place a home-produced research and telecommunications satellite into space. Iran now joins a small group of space-faring nations with the ability to build and launch their own satellites. In 2005, Iran used a Russian rocket to launch a satellite, and in August of 2008 Iran reported they launched a dummy satellite into orbit using their own Safir-2 rocket, but other sources said the rocket suffered a catastrophic failure. This most recent launch, however, was the country's first success in using their own rocket and their own functional satellite, launched from Iranian territory. The launch coincided with a 10-day celebration of the 30th anniversary of Iran's Islamic revolution, according to the Fars news agency. On Iranian television, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the satellite was a "step toward justice and peace."

Read the rest of Nancy Atkinson's article on Universe Today



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