Press TV – The spokesman for the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) says the country has successfully launched its domestically-made Zafar (Triumph) satellite using a Simorgh (Phoenix) satellite carrier, though the missile fell short of reaching the designated orbit.
Fars News Agency, quoting the Public Relations Department of Iran’s Defense Ministry on Sunday, cited Ahmad Hosseini as saying, “Simorgh satellite carrier took Zafar satellite into space with success, but the carrier failed to reached the speed needed to get the satellite into the designated orbit.
He added that the data from the launch will be used to optimize future launch attempts.
After the failure of Zafar satellite launch, Iran’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said in a Twitter post that despite the failure “we’re unstoppable,” promising that “We have more Upcoming Great Iranian Satellites!”
he launch took place after Azari Jahromi said earlier on Sunday that the countdown had started for launching the country’s Zafar satellite, which would orbit the Earth at an altitude of over 500 km.
In a post on his official Twitter page, Azari Jahromi said, “The countdown starts for the launch of Zafar satellite in a few hours…”
The minister had tweeted on February 3 that Iran would launch its Zafar observation satellite by the end of the same week (February 7).
“We are not afraid of failure and do not lose hope… Zafar satellite will be launched by the end of this [Iranian] week to reach 530-km orbit,” he said in his tweet.
Head of the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) Morteza Barari announced earlier the same day that the Zafar satellite was designed and manufactured by the scientists and elite students of Iran University of Science and Technology.
The official added, “The Zafar satellite is set to be launched by a Simorgh carrier to be put in the 530-kilometer orbit, after which we will be able to provide various services to the people and society.”
In January 2019, Iran launched its Payam (Message) satellite into space with an aim to collect data on environmental change; however, technical problems that occurred during the final stage of the launch prevented the spacecraft from reaching orbit.
Iran’s indigenous satellite launch capabilities first made headlines when the first locally-built satellite, Omid (Hope), was launched in 2009.
The country also sent its first bio-capsule containing living creatures into space in February 2010, using a Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) carrier.
In February 2015, the Islamic Republic placed its domestically-made Fajr (Dawn) satellite into orbit, which is capable of taking and transmitting high-quality photos to stations on Earth.
Iran considers its space program a matter of national pride, and has said its space vehicle launches are for scientific purposes.