August 19, 2008

Iran Launches First Home-Made Satellite into Space

Iran launches first home-made satellite into space

TEHRAN, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Iran announced Sunday that it launched a satellite into space earlier in the day, which is the first domestically made.

The satellite, Omid (hope), was launched Sunday by using Safir (ambassador) satellite-carrier rocket, the armed forces said in a statement, quoted by the official IRNA news agency.

Another news agency Fars quoted government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham as saying that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was at the launch of the communications satellite from Iran's space station.

In February, Iran said it has prepared for the satellite launch by sending a probe into space on the back of a rocket on the mission.

Iran, embroiled in a standoff with the West over Tehran's disputed nuclear ambitions, has pursued a space program for several years, according to media reports.

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