Iran Suffers Third Straight Launch Failure

Imam Khomeini Spaceport (Credit: Tasnim News Agency)

Iranian state television is reporting that the nation’s latest attempt to orbit a satellite has failed in the wake of two unsuccessful launches last year.

The Simorgh (“Phoenix”) rocket wasn’t able to accelerate the Zafar 1 satellite to orbital velocity, according to media reports. The 113 kg Earth observation satellite was to have placed into an orbit 530 km high.

Zafar had an Earth imaging camera aboard as well as a store-and-forward communications system.

The launch occurred from the Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Semnan province.

Iran’s two orbital launch attempts using Simourgh and Safir rockets failed last year. A third booster exploded on the launch pad while undergoing pre-flight preparations.