State television of Iran today, February 1, broadcast the launch of the country’s newest satellite launcher, which is said to be capable of reaching an altitude of 500 kilometers. A video of the launch of the solid and liquid propellant rocket captured the launch of the launcher in daylight and desert conditions. The report does not say exactly when the launch occurred.
The carrier, named “Zuljanah” after the horse of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, did not put the satellite into orbit. State Television of Iran noted that the rocket is capable of carrying a 220 kg spacecraft, adding that the three-stage carrier uses solid propellant on the first and second stages and liquid propellant on the third.
Iran has in the past used various liquid-fueled launch vehicles to put smaller devices into orbit. Last year, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which oversees Tehran’s missile program, said it used the Qassed-1 launcher to launch its first military satellite, Noor-1, into space.
As reported by the media, Mohsen Rezaei, secretary of the Political Expediency Council and former Iranian IRGC commander on June 22, 2020, pointed to Tehran’s progress in the space sphere, which allows “detailed tracking” of U.S. and Israeli military movements in the Middle East. “Our progress is exemplary,” Rezaei noted at the time. – Our military satellite sends detailed pictures of the U.S. and Israeli military presence (in the region), and our high-precision missiles have caused panic among Americans.” The statement by a senior Iranian official came exactly two months after the Islamic Republic successfully launched its first military satellite, Noor-1, into orbit using the three-stage Qassed-1 launcher.
The IRGC successfully launched Noor-1 into orbit (425 km) on April 22. Earlier several attempts to launch military satellites into orbit using carrier rockets ended unsuccessfully. The mission was carried out on the anniversary of the IRGC. On April 22, 1979, the late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Ruhollah Khomeini, officially announced the creation of the IRGC, an elite paramilitary force that reports directly to the Supreme Leader of the IRI (now Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei). In April 2019, the United States placed the Iranian Corps on its list of “terrorist organizations”