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IRAN'S SECOND MILITARY SATELLITE – ‘NOOR 2’

Context

According to the semi-official news agency Tasnim, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has successfully launched a second military satellite, the Noor 2, into orbit. The declaration came as discussions in Vienna to resurrect a deal limiting Iran's nuclear programme approached a critical juncture.

Key Points

  • The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of Iran successfully launched Noor-2, a military satellite, into orbit at 500 kilometres (311 miles). 
  • The Islamic Republic has launched its second military satellite. Noor, the first military satellite, was launched into orbit in April 2020 at the height of 425 kilometres (265 miles). 
  • In Persian, the word "noor" signifies "light."

Elements of Launch:

  • The Noor 2 was launched from the Shahroud spaceport by the three-stage Qased, or "Messenger," carrier.
  • The IRGC successfully placed Iran's second military satellite, Noor 2, into orbit 500 kilometres from Earth. 
  • The first military satellite was launched using the same type of rockets, which used a combination of liquid and solid fuels.

Other facts:

  • The launch of Iran's second satellite into orbit would be a significant step forward for the country's military, increasing concerns about the country's nuclear and missile programmes. 
  • The Noor 2 was launched from the Shahroud spaceport by the three-stage Qased, or "Messenger" carrier.
  • The Islamic Republic's first military satellite, the Noor, or "light" in Persian, was launched in April 2020 and placed in an orbit 425 kilometres (265 miles) above the Earth's surface.

Criticism on launch

  • The United States, Germany, and France all condemned the attempted launch.
  • Iran, one of the most advanced missile programmes in the Middle East, has seen many satellite launches fail in recent years due to technical difficulties
  • In 2019, the US placed sanctions on Iran's civilian space agency and two research institutes, alleging that they were being used to further Tehran's ballistic missile programme.
  • Tehran denies that its space programme is a covert operation.

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