Official IRNA news agency reported that Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on Wednesday “successfully” launched the country’s first military satellite into space. The satellite Noor 1 (Light 1) was launched by the satellite carrier Qased (Messenger) from the central desert region of the country by the IRGC and was successfully reached the 425 km orbit” above the Earth. The launched operation was carried out by the IRGC’s Aerospace Division from a launch station situated in Shahroud desert region. IRGC specified Qased as the country’s first three-stage satellite launcher to successfully pass all its tests.
The country’s aerospace program was expected to gather pace following the launch by deploying its military space activities towards taking care of its relevant telecommunication purposes, including promotion of reconnaissance and safe communication capabilities. The components of both the satellite and the carrier have been produced indigenously despite the U.S. sanctions. Iran’s first home-built satellite Omid was launched in 2009.The country sent its first bio-capsule containing living creatures into space in February 2010, using a Kavoshgar-3 carrier. The United States has criticized Iran’s space ambitions, claiming that it helps Tehran advance its ballistic missile program.
Iran has suffered several failed satellite launches in recent months. The latest came in February, when Iran failed to put its Zafar 1 communications satellite into orbit. That failure came after two failed launches of the Payam and Doosti satellites last year, as well as a launchpad rocket explosion in August. A separate fire at the Imam Khomeini Space Center in February 2019 also killed three researchers, authorities said at the time. The rocket explosion in August drew even the attention of US President Donald Trump, who later tweeted what appeared to be a classified surveillance image of the launch failure.