Feb 02, 2015

Iran launches first satellite since 2012

(Feb 2, 2015) Iran launched an observation satellite Monday — its first since 2012 — with President Hassan Rouhani declaring it safely entered orbit and that he had personally ordered the mission.

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The Fajr (Dawn) satellite was successfully placed 450 kilometres (280 miles) above Earth, said Al-Alam television, an Arabic-language station owned by the Islamic republic.

It is the fourth such satellite launch by Iran, after three others between 2009 and 2012.

The satellite was locally made, said the official IRNA news agency, as was its launcher, according to Rouhani who noted Iran’s aim is to have no reliance on foreign space technology.

“Our scientists have entered a new phase for conquering space. We will continue on this path,” Rouhani said in a short statement on state television.

Al-Alam said the Fajr satellite, weighing 52 kilos (114 pounds), would be able to take accurate pictures from space. It took eight minutes to reach orbit and is now linked with its ground-based controllers, state media said.

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