Iran launches second satellite into orbit, claims state TV


7 Apr 2011
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Iran has launched a satellite into orbit, state television reported, a move likely to raise concerns among those who fear Iran's intentions and nuclear development programme.

The report said the locally produced satellite, called Rasad, or observation, was launched successfully by a Safir missile on Wednesday. There was no independent confirmation of the launch or of the satellite achieving orbit.

If successful, it would be the second satellite Iran has put into orbit. The first, named Omid, was launched in 2009.

The Iranian TV report said the new satellite is designed to produce high-resolution maps.

Iran's decade-long space programme has alarmed the west because the same technology that allows missiles to launch satellites can be used to fire warheads. Israel, the US and other nations allege that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies.

The TV report said the Rasad satellite, developed by Iran's aerospace agency, weighs 15.3kg and has been designed to orbit the Earth 15 times a day at a height of 160 miles.

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

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