VIDEO: #Iran successfully launches the Ghaem-100 satellite launcher. Ghaem-100 is a three-stage, solid fuel launcher that will be able to place satellites weighing 80 kg in an orbit 500 km above the Earth’s surface. https://t.co/6DoOiOgtJ5 pic.twitter.com/8Me2q8qz7gNovember 5, 2022
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard successfully launched a new rocket designed to eventually send satellites on Saturday (Nov. 5), according to state media reports.
The test flight launched Iran’s new Ghaem 100 rocket, a three-stage solid-fueled vehicle, on a suborbital test flight, according to country’s state-run IRNA news agency and Reuters (opens in new tab). It is designed to carry satellites of up to 176 pounds (80 kilograms) into orbits of about 310 miles (500 kilometers) above Earth, they added.
“The flight test of this satellite carrier with a solid-fueled engine … was successfully completed,” Reuters quoted IRNA (opens in new tab) as reporting. Exactly where Iran launched the test flight from was unclear.
Saturday’s launch tested the first-stage of the Ghaem 100 rocket, according to Aljazeera (opens in new tab). The new rocket will be used for future launches of Iran’s Nahid communications satellites, said Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guard aerospace division, Aljazeera added.
The test flight follows the launch of an Iranian military spy satellite by Russia in August of this year, the first flight of the country’s Zoljanah suborbital rocket in 2021 and the country’s first homegrown launch of a military satellite in 2020 on a Qassad rocket.
U.S. officials watch Iran’s rocket programs closely due to concerns that such space launch technology could also be used to develop ballistic missiles as long-range weapons.
Last month, the satellite operator Eutelsat accused Iran of jamming two satellites used to broadcast Persian-language television and radio from outside the country. That complaint, as well as Saturday’s launch, come amid widespread anti-government protests in Iran following the death of an Iranian-Kurdish woman detained by Iran’s police.
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