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Iran Launches Satellite To Monitor Earth

Benjamin Gottlieb |
February 3, 2012 | 2:45 p.m. PST

Executive Editor

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reveals the nation's newest satellites.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reveals the nation's newest satellites.
The Islamic Republic of Iran launched a small Earth-monitoring satellite into orbit Friday, the first successful launch by the Iranian Space Agency since its failed space monkey mission last year.

Iranian state news said Friday that the 110-pound satellite, dubbed "Promise of Science and Industry," went into orbit early Friday, a feat lauded by the nation's space agency as a "huge achievement" for the Iranian space exploration. It was carried into space on the back of a Safir 1-B, Iran's expendable launch system capable of carrying payloads into space.

The satellite is expected to orbit earth for two months, passing over Iran six times a day.

Iran's space ambitions have drawn concerns from other space powers -- chiefly Israel and the United States -- that the Islamic republic could use space to deploy weapons of mass destruction. Iran has vehemently denied any military motives for its space program, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Iran's first successful satellite launch came in February of 2009.


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