Iran Launches 3rd Observation Satellite

Agence France Presse (AFP)06.02.2012 Iran
Iran Launches 3rd Observation Satellite

Iran Launches 3rd Observation Satellite

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Iran on Friday launched an observation satellite into orbit above Earth, its third since 2009, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"The Navid satellite was launched successfully. It will be placed into an orbit at an altitude between 250 and 370 kilometers," IRNA quoted the head of Iran's Space Organization, Hamid Fazeli, as saying.

The 50-kilogram satellite is meant to stay in orbit for 18 months, sending back images to Iran as it completes a revolution of Earth every 90 minutes. It was unveiled two years ago and its launch had long been expected.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad led the launch ceremony. "It's the beginning of an immense labor which holds the promise of friendship for all mankind," Ahmadinejad said.

It was the third domestically made satellite Iran has put above the planet using its Safir rockets. The other two observation platforms, launched in February 2009 and July 2011, stayed in orbit for two to three months.

The Navid satellite launch comes as Iran is marking the anniversary of its 1979 Islamic revolution and as tensions are heating up over Iran's nuclear program.

Source: AFP; IRNA



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