'Iran successfully launches satellite into orbit'

IRNA quotes head of Iranian Space Organization as saying Navid satellite would be placed into orbit between 250, 270 km.

February 3, 2012 10:01
Satellite launch (illustrative)

satelitte 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Iran launched an observation satellite into space on Friday, official news agency IRNA reported.

Hamid Fazeili, the head of Iran’s Space Organization, said that the Navid (“bearer of good news”) satellite was launched successfully, and “will be placed into orbit between 250 and 270 kilometers,” IRNA quoted him as saying.

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This is the third satellite the Islamic Republic has sent into space. The previous one was launched released in June. Then, Israel expressed concerned that Tehran’s space program was a cover for the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that could carry nuclear warheads.

The Islamic Republic’s Arabic language Al-Alam television channel reported that the satellite sent up in June was called Rasad 1, “observation” in Farsi.

In February 2009, Iran launched the Omid satellite, “hope” in Farsi. Israel closely tracked the launch with various sensors, including the X-Band radar that the US stationed in the Negev in late 2008.

Yaakov Katz and Reuters contributed to this report.

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