The Iranian military has test-launched a new rocket, designed to carry satellites into space and featuring what officials called the country’s “most powerful” solid-fuel engine.
The Defense Ministry published the undated video on Monday, showing what appeared to be a successful take-off of the new rocket, named the Zuljanah, which was seen for part of its ascent.
— Khosro Kalbasi (@KhosroKalbasi) February 1, 2021
The spokesman for the Iranian military’s space division, Ahmad Hosseini, told state media that “the test helped Iran to achieve its most powerful rocket engine,” which he said “can be launched using a mobile launching pad” and is “capable of carrying a single 220 kg satellite or up to 10 smaller ones.”
This three-stage carrier can compete with the world’s current carriers, and has two stages of solid propulsion and a single liquid one.
The test comes as Washington looks for ways to re-enter the joint nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, from which former President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew in 2018, violating its terms by reinstating a sanctions regime against the Islamic Republic.
Iranian officials informed their US counterparts on Monday that they cannot simply waltz back into the agreement, and will have to scale back the penalties, with sanctions-relief a major reason Tehran agreed to sign the pact in the first place.
Header: Iranian Defense Ministry via APThe launch of Iran’s newest satellite-carrier rocket, called “Zuljanah,” at an undisclosed location in Iran, on February 1, 2021.
The test was “the first launch of the Zoljanah hybrid satellite carrier for sub-orbital testing,” said Ahmad Hosseini, the spokesman for the ministry’s space division.
“This three-stage carrier can compete with the world’s current carriers, and has two stages of solid propulsion and a single liquid one,” he added, noting that the rocket was for “research purposes.”
According to Hosseini, Zoljanah can put satellites in a “500 kilometer [310 mile] altitude orbit and carry a 220-kilogram [1,100-pound]” payload.
He also said the rocket can be launched from a “mobile platform,” which provides it with “special capabilities.”
Footage released by the broadcaster showed the rocket being launched in a desert area, without specifying the place and time of the test.
According to Mehr news agency, the launch took place at the central Semnan province, where Iran has a space center.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched the country’s first military satellite, dubbed the Nour, into orbit in April last year, coming after the failed launch of another satellite two months before.
The Guards said the satellite orbited the Earth at 425 kilometers and was carried using the Qassed rocket, using a liquid and solid propulsion similar to Zoljanah.
Source: AFP via i24