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Iran’s Latest Simorgh Rocket Launch Deploys Three Satellites to LEO

Satellite reach low-earth orbit

Iran has launched three satellites atop its Simorgh rocket.

The trio of satellites reached low-Earth orbit, with an altitude ranging from 280 miles to 680 miles, according to the Middle Eastern nation’s Secretariat of the Government Information Council.

Keihan 2 and Hatef 1, two of the newly launched satellites, were for communications and navigation. The third satellite, called Mehda, is a research cubesat designed to help Iran’s space agency monitor the performance of the Simorgh rockets. 

Based on an analysis of the launch footage released by Iranian state television, the Associated Press determined that the Simorgh rocket lifted off at nighttime from the Imam Khomeini Spaceport.

Before the latest attempt, Iran tried and failed to launch the Simorgh two-stage, liquid-fueled rocket five times over the years.

Iranian state media reported that Iran also launched a satellite known as Sorayya 466 miles into LEO on Jan. 20. Sorayya’s function remains unclear.

The United States warned that Iran’s satellite launches go against a U.N. Security Council resolution prohibiting Tehran from conducting ballistic missile tests and nuclear weapons activities.

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