TEHERAN (AFP) – Iran’s Revolutionary Guards tested last week a solid-fuel satellite carrier rocket, state media has reported quoting the force’s aerospace commander as saying.
Reports carried footage released by the elite force claiming to show the successful test of the rocket’s primary propulsion engine.
The test marked the first time Iran used a solid-fuel rocket rather than a liquid-fuel one, the Guards’ aerospace commander Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh said on Thursday (Jan 13).
Iran can now send more satellites into space, he said, according to the reports carried by state media.
Solid-fuel rockets can be used for mobile launchers while pure solid-fuel rockets are mostly linked to ballistic missiles systems.
“The new Iranian satellites are made of non-metallic, composite bodies with non-moving propellants, which will further increase the rocket’s energy and save costs,” Hajizadeh said, according to state news agency IRNA.
The test came amid the on-going negotiations in Vienna that aim to revive Teheran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Iran successfully put its first military satellite into orbit in April 2020, drawing a sharp rebuke from Washington.
The United States has repeatedly voiced concern that such launches could boost Iran’s ballistic missile technology.
But Iran insists it is not seeking nuclear weapons and that its satellite and rocket launches are for defensive purposes only.
It was not clear when the latest test took place last week.
At the end of December, Iran announced it had failed to put in orbit “three research cargos” carried by Simorgh (Phoenix) satellite carrier as the rocket was unable to reach the required speed.