The two-stage rocket blasted off on Wednesday from an undisclosed location in “the central desert,” with the Noor 1 satellite on board. The air arm named the military satellite Qassed. State media said that the satellite reached an altitude of 425km. However, it remains to be seen if the launch has been entirely successful.
According to the Mehr news agency, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps oversaw the launch. They timed it to mark the elite group’s anniversary. The IRGC’s Aerospace Forces have an array of long-range missiles and satellite launch vehicles developed by Iran’s rocket industry.
This was the second space-bound launch since February. At that time, Iran reported that it had successfully put a communications satellite called Zafar 1 into orbit. Yet the Defense Ministry revealed later that the device’s speed had been too low to actually reach orbit.