Feb 9, 2020 - Science

Iran space program fails to put satellite into orbit

The Iran flag

Photo: Xinhua/Li Muzi via Getty Images

A rocket launched by Iran's space program on Sunday failed to reach the speed necessary to get its Zafar 1 communications satellite into orbit, AP reports.

Why it matters: It's the latest disappointment for a program that the U.S. claims is in violation of a UN security resolution that calls on Iran to refrain from building ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

  • Iran has claimed that it does not seek a nuclear weapon and that its space launches do not have a military component, per AP.
  • Iran had postponed the launch from Saturday after the country faced a large-scale cyberattack. Officials still publicly promoted the launch as a success and promised future successes.

The big picture: This is not the first launch in recent years to end in failure. In August, Trump tweeted a high-resolution image of the aftermath of an explosion at an Iranian space center — claiming, mysteriously, that the U.S. did not play a role in the accident.

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