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Iran launches home-made satellite into orbit

June 17, 2011

telegraph

Iran has launched a satellite into earth orbit in a feat that is likely to raise concerns among those who fear Iran’s intentions and nuclear development program.

“Our glorious scientists successfully put Iran’s first image-collecting satellite into orbit,” the TV report said.

Iran has made a series of claims about advances in its ambitious space program in recent years, which has Western powers worried about the possibility of its military applications.

Last year, Iran announced it had successfully launched a rocket carrying a mouse, turtle and worms into space.

Iran’s space program has expressed a goal of putting a man in orbit within 10 years, despite the expense and technological challenge involved.

Iran is showcasing its technological successes as signs it can advance despite the threat of US and UN sanctions over its nuclear program.

It is also pressing ahead with its military missile program, frequently testing missiles capable of reaching Israel, US bases in the Gulf and parts of southeast Europe.

Iran launched its first commercial satellite in 2005 on a Russian rocket. Russia, North Korea and China transfer space technology to Iran.

Iran has said it wants to put its own satellites into orbit to monitor natural disasters in the earthquake-prone nation and improve its telecommunications. Iranian officials also point to America’s use of satellites to monitor conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and say they need similar capabilities for their security.

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