Iran Fails to Insert Satellite Into Orbit
Full-size replicas of Iran's space rockets and ballistic missiles are displayed at the Museum of Holy Defense and Spreading the Culture of Resistance, February 2014, in Tehran. (Scott Peterson/Getty Images)

Iran Fails to Insert Satellite Into Orbit

Iranian state TV announced on Sunday night that its attempt to launch a Zafar (Victory) 1 communications satellite into orbit aboard a Simorgh (Phoenix) rocket failed because the satellite did not achieve the necessary speed. The US suspects that the actual purpose of Iran’s space program is the development of long-range ballistic missiles that can be used to deliver weapons, including nuclear warheads, to their targets anywhere in the world. “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,” Defense Ministry space program spokesman Ahmad Hosseini said. Iran carried out at least two attempted launches last year – of the Payam and Doosti satellites – that also failed, and an Iranian rocket exploded on the launchpad in August. Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi compared the launch to “a few samples of US launch failures” in a tweet. “But We’re UNSTOPPABLE! We have more Upcoming Great Iranian Satellites!” he added. He later tweeted in Farsi that “sometimes life does not go the way we like it to go” and “please do not pay attention to fake news.” The launch was timed to coincide with celebrations of the February anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. Jahromi previously said that the country had spent almost €2 million to build the Zafar 1 satellite. It was planned to orbit the earth for 18 months before plummeting into the atmosphere and burning up.

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