Iran fails in third attempt to launch satellite into orbit

Tehran (dpa) – Iran failed in its third attempt to launch a satellite into space on Sunday, a spokesman for the space department of the Ministry of Defence said on state television.

Despite lifting off successfully from its launch site in central Semnan, the Safar ("triumph") satellite could not reach the required speed to go into orbit, spokesman Ahmad Husseini said. 
The launch had been closely watched by Iran's critics in the US and Israel, who fear that Iran could use such space technology to operate long-range military missiles.
Iran's military last year failed in two attempts to launch the 130-kilogram satellite, constructed in Iran. One test was reported to have led to an explosion, which the Ministry of Telecommunications denied.
Sunday's satellite launch was set to be a milestone for the country's budding space programme ahead of the 41st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on Tuesday.
Husseini said space officials would work towards fixing the mission's problems, but did not give an exact date for the next satellite launch. 
The satellite, launched by a rocket launcher also made in Iran, would have orbited the planet 15 times a day.
Officials in Tehran say Iran's satellites are designed to provide scientific data on weather, natural disasters and agriculture, and not pursue military goals, keeping it in line with international regulations.


Sunday, February 9th 2020

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