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Updated January 20th, 2024 at 16:13 IST

Iran Successfully Launches Imaging Satellite amid Brewing Tensions in the Middle East

Amid the brewing tensions in the Middle East, Iran said that it has conducted a satellite launch under a program which has been heavily criticised by the West.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
Iran launches Noor-3 satellite into the orbit
Iran launches Noor-3 satellite into the orbit | Image:AP
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Tehran - Amid the brewing tensions in the Middle East, Iran said that it has conducted a satellite launch under a program which has been heavily criticised by the West. According to the Iranian news agency IRNA, the country's Communication Minister Isa Zarepour said that the Noor-3 satellite was put into an orbit which is  450 kilometres above the Earth’s surface on Friday. The launch came as the tensions in the Middle East continued to escalate with the ongoing Israel-Hamas war and the horrors of the Houthis in the Red Sea. The launch came days after Iran and Pakistan exchanged missile fires at each other stating that they were targeting the terrorist bases in respective nations. 

While it was not clear when exactly the launch took place, the Noor-3 satellite is raising concern since it is an imaging satellite. The successful launch came after  Iran has had a series of failed launches in recent years. Iranian General Hossein Salami mentioned that this launch can be touted as the most successful launch carried out by IRGC in recent years. Calling the successful launch a “victory," Salami noted that the satellite will collect data and images from the location.  

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Where did the satellite launch from? 

As per the footage released by the authorities, the rocket took off from the site which appears to be a Guard base near Shahroud which is some 330 kilometres (205 miles) northeast of the capital, Tehran. According to The Associated Press, the base is in Semnan province and hosts the Imam Khomeini Spaceport from where Iran’s civilian space program operates. The IRGC operates its own space program and military infrastructure which is parallel to Iran’s regular armed forces and answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Under the controversial programme, Iran launched its first satellite into space in April 2020. However, the US Space Command later dismissed the launch and called it a “tumbling webcam in space” that would not provide vital intelligence. 

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Published January 20th, 2024 at 16:13 IST

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