Report: Iran Fails to Launch Second Satellite into Space

If this was in fact a failed launch, it would be the sixth failure of the Safir space launch vehicle, says Tal Inbar, an expert on Iran’s and North Korea’s space programs

Planet Labs Inc.

Satellite imagery of a space launch center in northern Iran suggests a second attempt to launch a satellite has failed, NPR reported Wednesday.

The imagery, captured by the US-based Planet Company, shows burn scars on a launchpad at the Imam Khomeini Space Center. The burns appeared after days of activity at the site, which suggested Iran had been preparing for a launch.

The scorch marks are consistent with a launch or failed launch of a craft, but since Iran made no public announcements regarding the launch, analysts believe the attempt has failed.

This would be the second attempted space launch by Iran in less than a month, the report adds. On January 15, the Islamic Republic failed to put another satellite into orbit after it was unable to reach the required velocity. 

According to the report, the rocket used in this latest launch attempt is the Safir, a two-stage liquid-fueled rocket based on missile technology the Iranians obtained from the North Koreans. If this was in fact a failed launch, it would be the sixth failure of the Safir, according to Tal Inbar, an expert on Iran’s and North Korea’s space programs.

Iran did not comment on the launch, and it was not reported by state media.