Iran launched a small Earth-observing satellite into orbit today (Feb. 3), marking the country's first successful mission since a failed attempt to put a monkey in space last year, according to state news reports.
The Iranian Space Agency launched the new "Promise of Science and Industry" satellite into orbit today using a Safir 1-B rocket, according to a translation of a statement posted to the agency's Farsi-language website. Safir means "Ambassador" in Farsi.
The new Iranian satellite weighs about 110 pounds (50 kilograms) and was built by students at the Sharif University of Technology, according to a report by Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency.
According to the Iranian Space Agency, the satellite is shaped like a cube that is nearly 20 inches (50 centimeters) wide. It is circling Earth in an elliptical orbit and passes over Iran six times a day. The satellite will fly a two-month mission and is controlled via five ground stations, one each in the cities of Karaj, Tabriz, Qeshm, Bushehr and Mashhad, Iranian space officials said.
Above: The Navid-e Elm-o Sanat satellite
YouTube rendering: maydayfire @IMF
Photo: Mehr News Agency