World News

Iran humiliated: Satellite plummets from orbit in major space race blow

The probe, known as Zafar, meaning Victory in Farsi, was launched from a Simorgh rocket yesterday. However, defence ministry official Ahmad Hosseini told state television while Zafar had launched successfully, it had not managed to reach its intended orbit.

At the end of its path it did not reach the required speed for being put in the orbit

Defence ministry official Ahmad Hosseini

He explained: “Stage-1 and stage-2 motors of the carrier functioned properly and the satellite was successfully detached from its carrier.

“But at the end of its path it did not reach the required speed for being put in the orbit.”

Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi, Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology, was subsequently forced to admit things had not gone according to plan.

Mr Azari-Jahromi tweeted: “I wanted to make you happy with good news but sometimes life does not go the way we want it to.

“The launch was not successful.”

The first picture the satellite had been due to transmit to state media would have been of assassinated Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, Mr Azari-Jahromi told
state TV.

He said it had been launched from Iran’s Imam Khomeini Space Centre in Iran’s Semnan province,which is controlled by the country’s defence ministry.

The first picture it was to have transmitted was of military commander Qassem Soleimani, assassinated in a US drone strike last month.

Tehran’s record with satellite launches is patchy to say the least.

FCO travel warning: Coronavirus found in UAE – is Dubai safe? [WARNING]
St Lucia denies cruise ship entry amid coronavirus concerns [UPDATE]
Coronavirus: Is it safe to travel to Thailand? [INSIGHT]

The country launched the first Iranian-made satellite in 2009, another in 2011 and a third in 2012, and also claims to have put a monkey into space in 2013.

Sunday’s failure follows two other failed launches of the Payam and Doosti satellites last year, plus a launchpad rocket explosion.

In another incident at the space centre last February, a fire killed three researchers, according to Iranian authorities.

The United States has claimed long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into orbit could also be used to launch nuclear warheads.

Tehran insists it has never pursued the development of nuclear weapons, and denies its aerospace programme is a cover for missile development.

Iran’s religious leaders say Tehran’s missile programme is solely defensive.

Separately, state television today reported the Revolutionary Guards Corps had unveiled a short-range missile which was built in Iran.

The broadcaster said the Raad-500, or Thunder in Farsi, was half the weight of a similar missile, the Fateh-110, but its range was about 200 km (120 miles) more and it could be powered by a new generation of engines designed to put satellites into orbit.

There was no immediate US comment on the announcements.

Source: Read Full Article