The US military has not commented on Iran’s recent launch of the Noor-3 satellite. The Revolutionary Guard successfully launched the satellite, marking a significant achievement for Iran’s space program after a series of failed launches in recent years.
Data published by space-track.org confirmed the launch and stated that the Noor-3 satellite was placed into orbit. The website relies on information provided by the 18th Space Defense Squadron of the US Space Force.
The satellite was launched using a Qased rocket, a three-stage rocket that utilizes both liquid and solid fuels. Iran initially unveiled this rocket in 2020 as part of its previously undisclosed space program.
The video released by Iranian authorities showed the rocket launching from a mobile launcher, with details matching a Guard base near Shahroud, about 205 miles northeast of Tehran. This base is located in Semnan province, where the Imam Khomeini Spaceport is situated.
General Ali Jafarabadi, the guard space commander, described the Noor-3 satellite as having superior imaging capabilities compared to its predecessor, the Noor-2 satellite. Noor-2 remains in orbit since its launch in March 2022, while Noor-1 fell back to Earth last year.
In addition to improved imaging capabilities, Noor-3 is equipped with thrusters that allow for maneuverability in orbit. General Jafarabadi also hinted at Iran’s aspirations for its satellite program, including the potential for controlling drones. This raises concerns for Western nations and Ukraine, as Iranian-made bomb-carrying drones have targeted these regions for over a year.
The general emphasized the importance of satellite technology on the battleground, pointing out that many armed forces rely on remote-controlled equipment. Satellite communication enables control and guidance over long distances where direct visibility is not possible.
Overall, Iran’s successful launch of the Noor-3 satellite has garnered attention and raised tensions with Western nations.