Satellite Revealed, Iran Says It's Planning 2 Rocket Launch Tests

Satellite Revealed, Iran Says It's Planning 2 Rocket Launch Tests
Satellite Revealed, Iran Says It's Planning 2 Rocket Launch Tests

International Military - Iran admitted on Wednesday (15/6/2022), that it is planning two tests for a new solid-fuel rocket. Tehran's admission came after satellite photos showed preparations at the desert launch pad previously used in the programme.

"The Islamic Republic will launch the Zuljanah rocket carrying the satellite twice more after carrying out the previous launch," the state news agency IRNA reported, citing Defense Ministry spokesman Ahmad Hosseini.

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He did not specify a timeframe for the tests, or say when the previous launch took place. "Each of Zuljanah's three stages will be evaluated during the test," Hosseini said, as quoted by AP. Satellite images taken Tuesday by Maxar Technologies show preparations on the launch pad at the Imam Khomeini Space Port in Iran's rural Semnan province, the site of frequent failures recently to put satellites into orbit.

One set of images shows a rocket on top of a carrier, preparing to be lifted and placed on a launch tower. Subsequent images that emerged on Tuesday afternoon showed a rocket apparently in the tower.

While it's not clear when the launch will take place, setting up the rocket usually means launch is imminent. NASA's fire satellite, which detected flashes of light from space, did not immediately see any activity over the site Tuesday night through Wednesday.

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Asked about Iran's preparations, US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters in Washington that the US was urging Iran to defuse the situation. “Iran has consistently chosen to escalate tensions.

It is Iran that has consistently chosen to take provocative actions," Price said. A Pentagon spokesman, US Army Major Rob Lodewick, said the American military will continue to closely monitor Iran's efforts at viable space launch technology and how it relates to progress in its overall ballistic missile program."

Iran's aggression, including the threat posed by its missile programs, continues to be a major concern for our forces in the region, Lodewick said.

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Over the past decade, Iran has sent several short-lived satellites into orbit and in 2013 launched monkeys into space. This program has seen problems recently. There have been five failed launches in a row for the Simorgh program, a type of satellite-carrying rocket.

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