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Iran’s satellite fails to reach orbit

A Simorgh rocket failed to put the Zafar 1 communications satellite into orbit due to low speed.

Iran launched a telecommunications satellite on Sunday, but it failed to reach orbit, a defence ministry official said.

“It was launched with success … but the “Zafar” satellite did not reach orbit as planned,” the official was quoted as saying by the state television.

“God willing with improvements made in future launches this part of the mission will be done as well,” said Ahmad Hosseini of the ministry’s space unit. “We achieved most of the goals and data has been acquired, and in the near future, by analysing the data, we will take the next steps.”

Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi admitted in a tweet soon after that the launch had failed but promised that more “great Iranian satellites” would be launched.

The latest failure marks the fourth time in a row that Iran has been unable to successfully put a satellite in space.