Iran conducts static test of satellite-carrying rocket | national

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guards have tested an engine for a solid-fuel satellite-carrying rocket, state news agency IRNA reported Thursday.

The report quotes General Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Guard’s aerospace unit, as saying the test passed. He said it was the first time Iran had used a solid-fuel rocket rather than a liquid-fuel rocket. He said Iran would produce lighter rocket engines in other space projects.

According to the general, the planet carrier was made of a composite material instead of metal, which he said was “cost effective”. Hajizadeh spoke with a group of clerics in the city of Qom, the seat of seminaries in Iran. He said Iran was firmly pursuing its goals in the aerospace and satellite industry.

However, composites are generally more expensive to produce than their metallic counterparts. Composites also make a rocket lighter so it can propel a heavier satellite or payload into orbit.

Iranian state television did not broadcast any footage of the launch. IRNA initially reported that the rocket had been launched into space, but later removed the reference from its story without explanation. Additionally, images that were released later showed the rocket motor going through a static ground test.

Satellite carriers typically use liquid fuel, but solid-fuel rockets can be adapted to mobile launchers that can be driven anywhere on a major road or rail network. Pure solid fuel rockets are mostly associated with ballistic missile systems.

Last month, Iran said it launched a rocket with a satellite carrier carrying three devices into space, without saying whether any of the objects had entered Earth orbit.

The State Department said at the time that it remained concerned about Iran’s space launches, which it said “pose a significant proliferation problem” with respect to Tehran’s ballistic missile program.

The launches come amid negotiations in Vienna aimed at reviving Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers. Iran, which has long said it is not seeking nuclear weapons, insists its satellite launches and rocket tests have no military component.

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