The United States has acknowledged that Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard successfully launched an imaging satellite into orbit this week. This launch has raised concerns as it is seen as a development in Iran’s ballistic missile program.
The US military has not commented on this launch since its announcement by Iran. However, data published by space-track.org indicated that Iran launched the Noor-3 satellite into orbit on Wednesday. The website receives information from the 18th Space Defense Squadron of the US Space Force.
The satellite was placed over 280 miles above the Earth’s surface, consistent with Iranian state media reports. The rocket used for the launch was identified as a Qased, a three-stage rocket fueled by both liquid and solid fuels. This rocket was first launched by the Revolutionary Guard in 2020 as part of their previously undisclosed space program.
The video released by authorities showed a rocket taking off from a mobile launcher, but the exact location was not disclosed. However, details in the video matched a Guard base near Shahroud in Semnan province, which is where the Imam Khomeini Spaceport is located.
The Noor-3 satellite is described as having better image accuracy than its predecessor, the Noor-2. It is equipped with thrusters that allow it to maneuver in orbit, indicating Iran’s ambitions to expand its satellite program for potential drone control.
This development raises concerns for Western nations and Ukraine, as Iran has supplied Russia with bomb-carrying drones in the past. It highlights the importance of satellite technologies in modern warfare and the need for remote-controlled equipment.
The successful launch of the Noor-3 satellite demonstrates Iran’s progress in its space program and its growing capabilities in satellite technology.