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Iran launches three satellites into space

Tehran, Jan 28

Iran on Sunday said it has simultaneously launched three domestically developed satellites into space for the first time in its space history, the media reported.

The satellites were launched to an elliptic orbit with a minimum altitude of 450 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported.

The three satellites included one communications and research satellite, Mahda, and two nanosatellites, Keyhan-2 and Hatef-1, the report said, adding that they were launched by indigenously-built launch vehicle Simorgh (Phoenix) from the central province of Semnan, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mahda’s primary mission is to assess Simorgh’s performance over multiple tasks and evaluate new designs and technologies in space.

The report said the other two will focus on global positioning and communications technology.

Though the western governments, including the US, have time and again warned Iran against such launches, citing concern the same technology can be used for ballistic missiles that are capable of delivering nuclear weapons, Tehran said its satellite and rocket launches are for civil or defence purposes only.

On January 20, Iran announced the launch of a domestically developed lightweight 47-kilogram research and telecommunication satellite, dubbed Soraya, using the homegrown Qaem-100 three-stage solid-fuel launch vehicle.

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