TEHRAN (Sputnik) – Iran failed to place the Zafar satellite in orbit with the Simorgh carrier rocket, said the Ministry of Defense of the Persian country.
“The carrier rocket successfully launched the Zafar satellite into space, but failed to reach the speed necessary to place it in orbit,” said the agency cited by the IRIB agency.
The Simorgh carrier rocket, over 80 tons, had to travel at a speed of 7,400 kilometers per hour to place the Zafar satellite at an altitude of 530 kilometers above the Earth.
International media points out that the launch raises US concerns because long-range ballistic rocket technology – which is used to place satellites in the orbit – can be used to launch nuclear warheads.
For its part, Tehran denies that its satellite program is a cover for missile development and claims that it has never pursued the development of nuclear weapons.
In January 2019, Iran launched a self-made satellite launch, Payam (Message), which did not reach the planned orbit due to a third stage failure of the carrier rocket.
Several countries condemned the trials of the Iranian Simorgh carrier rocket, claiming that they contradict United Nations Organization Security Council resolution 2231 urging Iran to refrain from any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of transporting nuclear weapons.