[amsat-bb] All the facts are wrong but

Bob McGwier rwmcgwier at gmail.com
Tue Feb 5 15:21:51 PST 2008

Sent from Express News
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran launched a research rocket Monday and unveiled its 
first major space center, which will be used to launch research 
satellites, state-run television reported.

The report said the rocket was the first launched by Iran "into space." 
But analysts have expressed doubts about similar technological 
achievements announced by the country in the past.

Iran launched its first domestically built rocket last February, which 
did not reach orbit level.

"The first Iranian rocket Explorer-1 was fired into space," reported 
state TV, which showed live images of the event at the space center, 
with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issuing the launch order. "With the 
launch, Iran has joined the world's top 11 countries possessing space 
technology to build satellites, and launch rockets into space."

The report did not specify the altitude reached by the research rocket. 
Space is considered to begin at 60 miles above ground. Ham radio 
satellites - the lowest flying satellites - orbit between 100-300 miles, 
while communication, weather and global-positioning satellites fly 
between 250-12,000 miles up.

Some Western experts also have raised the possibility that Iran's space 
program may be a cover to more fully develop its military ballistic 
missiles, a prospect many find troubling at a time when the U.S. and 
others worry Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Before the launch, Ahmadinejad opened the space center, which includes 
an underground control station and space launch pad, according to state TV.

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI     Associated Press Writer   

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