Iran Successfuly Launches Small Earth-Watching Satellite

On February 3 Iran launched a small Earth-Watching Satellite  into orbit by using a Safir 1-B rocket, marking the country’s first successful mission since a failed attempt to put a monkey in space last year. The new Iranian satellite weighs about 110 pounds (50 kilograms) and was built by students at the Sharif University of Technology, according to a report by Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency. According to the Iranian Space Agency, the satellite is shaped like a cube that is nearly 20 inches (50 centimeters) wide. It is circling Earth in an elliptical orbit and passes over Iran six times a day. The satellite will fly a two-month mission and is controlled via five ground stations, one each in the cities of Karaj, Tabriz, Qeshm, Bushehr and Mashhad. Iranian Space Agency officials have said in the past that they are aiming to launch a human into space by 2020 and land an astronaut on the moon by 2025.

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