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Iran launches a dummy satellite using its own rocket

August 18, 2008|From Times Wire Services

TEHRAN — Iran said it had put a dummy satellite into orbit on its own rocket for the first time Sunday, a move expected to increase Western concerns about its nuclear ambitions.

The ballistic technology used to put satellites into space can also be used to launch weapons, although Iran says it has no plans to do so.

The rocket is called the Safir-e Omid, or envoy of hope.

"The Safir satellite carrier was launched today, and for the first time we successfully launched a dummy satellite into orbit," Reza Taghipoor, head of the Iranian Aerospace Organization, said on state television Sunday.

The rocket released equipment that beamed flight data back to ground control, he said.

Iran has long held the goal of developing a space program.

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