Iran has successfully launched the imaging satellite Noor-3 into orbit 450 kilometers (280 miles) above the Earth’s surface, officials said on Wednesday.
Minister for Communication and Information Technology Issa Zarepour said in a social media post that the satellite has been successfully launched into orbit.
He said the aerospace division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has carried out the launch of the satellite using a domestically produced Qassed launch vehicle.
“I congratulate this success to the people, those who are working hard in the country’s aerospace sector and experts at the IRGC Aerospace Force,” the minister said in a Persian post.
Qassed was also used by the IRGC to launch the previous version of the satellite Noor-2 in March 2022, placing it into orbit 500 kilometers (311 miles) from the Earth’s surface. Noor-1 was launched in 2020.
In November last year, the IRGC tested the satellite carrier Ghaem 100 into the first suborbital stage. It came four months after Iran’s Defence Ministry announced the second launch of its indigenously developed satellite carrier named Zuljanah, which was hailed as a “breakthrough.”
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Iran’s satellite launches have been criticized by the US, claiming that the country’s long-range ballistic missile program can also be used to launch long-range weapons.
The US and its European allies have often called on Tehran to stop sending satellites into space, claiming that it violates the UN Security Council resolution.
Tehran has rejected such claims, saying satellite launches are intended to help in research and agricultural activities.
The US government imposed fresh sanctions on Iranian individuals and entities earlier this month in connection with the country’s drone and military development.
Importantly, the country has had many failed satellite launches in recent years due to technical issues.
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