Iran Launches First Rocket Successfully Into Space?
"The first space rocket has been successfully launched into space," a state television anchor announced, without disclosing its range.
"The rocket was carrying material intended for research created by the ministries of science and defence," Mohsen Bahrami, the head of Iran's aerospace research centre, told state television.
He did not give further details on the nature of the cargo.
"All the tests (leading up to the launch) have been carried out in the country's industrial facilities in line with international regulations," said Bahrami.
"The manufacture of the rocket and the cargo was achieved by experts at the centre of aerospace research and the engineering centre at the ministry of agricultural planning," he added.
Iran has for the past years been pressing ahead with a nascent space programme, which has already seen an Iranian Russian-made satellite put into orbit by a Russian rocket in October 2005. That satellite, called Sina-1, was Iran's first and so far only probe to be launched into space and was described by the Iranian press at the time as being for research and telecommunications purposes.
Iran has said it is planning the construction and launch of several more satellites over the next three years.
The announcement that Iran has succeeded in launching its first rocket into space comes amid mounting tensions with the United States over its nuclear programme, which Washington alleges is cover for weapons development.
OPEC member Iran denies the charges, saying its atomic drive is solely aimed at supply energy for a growing population. (Channel Newsasia)
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