Iran again fails to put satellite into orbit amid US worries

Iran again fails to put satellite into orbit amid US worries
In this image taken from video an Iranian rocket carrying a satellite is launched from Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s Semnan province, some 230 kilometers (145 miles) southeast of Iran’s capital, Tehran, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. The rocket failed to put the satellite into orbit on Sunday, state television reported, the latest setback for a program the U.S. claims helps Tehran advance its ballistic missile program. (Source: IRIB via AP/IRIB)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iranian state television says the country’s space program has failed to launch into orbit a satellite.

The launch failure happened Sunday at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s Semnan province, some 230 kilometers or 145 miles southeast of Iran’s capital, Tehran.

A Simorgh, or “Phoenix,” rocket carried the Zafar 1 communications satellite.

The attempt Sunday comes after two failed launches last year and a rocket exploding on a launchpad at the facility.

The U.S. claims the program is part of broader Iranian efforts to advance its ballistic missile program.

Iran routinely unveils what it says are military and technological achievements ahead of the February anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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