Iran shows missile, launches satellite which fails to reach orbit

Iran shows missile, launches satellite which fails to reach orbit

In the space of a few hours on Sunday, Iran unveiled a new ballistic missile and launched a domestically-built satellite - which failed, however, to reach orbit, Al Jazeera reports.

The launch of the satellite happened at 7:15pm local time at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran's Semnan province, some 230km (145 miles) southeast of the capital, Tehran. State television said, however, that a Simorgh rocket could not put the Zafar 1 communications satellite into orbit due to a low speed.

"Stage-1 and stage-2 motors of the carrier functioned properly and the satellite was successfully detached from its carrier, but at the end of its path it did not reach the required speed for being put in the orbit," Ahmad Hosseini, spokesman for the defence ministry's space programme, told state TV.

The satellite, which Iran says was to be used for scientific observation, is part of a programme that the United States has previously described as a "provocation".

Iran's Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi admitted in a Twitter post that "failure happened", adding: "But We're UNSTOPPABLE! We have more Upcoming Great Iranian Satellites!"

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