Iran state TV airs launch of new satellite-carrying rocket
Iranian state TV on Monday aired the launch of the country's newest satellite-carrying rocket, which it said was able to reach a height of 500 kilometers (310 miles).
The footage of the solid-liquid-fueled rocket showed the launch taking place during daytime in a desert environment. The report did not say when the launch happened.
The rocket, called Zuljanah for the horse of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, did not launch a satellite into orbit.
State TV said the rocket is capable of carrying a 220-kilogram (485-pound) satellite, adding that the three-stage rocket uses solid fuel in the first and second stages and fluid fuel in the third.
Iran in the past has used various fluid-fuel satellite carrier rockets to put smaller devices into orbit. Last year, the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard said it used a Qased, or “Messenger,” satellite carrier to put the Noor satellite into space.
Iran often coordinates its launches with national holidays. It will celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution later in February.
Iran says its satellite program, like its nuclear activities, are aimed at scientific research and other civilian applications. The US and other Western countries have long been suspicious of the program because the same technology can be used to develop long-range missiles.