Iran Joins Space Age as it Lofts Satellite into Orbit

Iran launches own space satellite to mark 30 years since revolution
Times Online

Iran has claimed success in launching its first home-built satellite into orbit, using a rocket which the West believes is part of its long-term ballistic missile programme.

Until official satellite spotters confirm Tehran’s claim, made by President Ahmadinejad, the Iranian leader, on state television, the announcement will be treated with a degree of scepticism. The first two attempts at launching an Iranian-built satellite, in February and August last year, failed.

If the Iranian President’s claim turns out to be true, however, it will provide further proof of Tehran’s growing ability to master the technology for developing a long-range ballistic missile.

Despite Mr Ahmadinejad’s insistence that the satellite mission was purely for peaceful purposes, experts said there was an undeniable link between the rocket launch and Iran’s military programme.

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