Iran launches space missile: State TV

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Tehran, Feb 25:  Iran has launched a missile capable of reaching space, Iran's state television Web site reported today, quoting an Iranian aerospace official.

The comments came a day after Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said the Islamic Republic was planning to build a satellite and launcher.

Iran launched its Sina-1 satellite into orbit from a Russian rocket in 2005 and has previously said it planned to modify its Shahab-3 missile to launch satellites.

''Iran has successfully launched its first space missile made by Iranian scientists,'' the head of Iran's aerospace research centre, named only as Dr Bahrami, was quoted as saying.

He said the missile was built by the aerospace centre with the cooperation of the Defence and Science Ministries, but gave no further details.

The defence minister was quoted by a newspaper as saying: ''Building a satellite and satellite launcher, as well as (previously) launching the first Iranian satellite called Sina with Russian cooperation, and becoming a member of the space club, are part of the Defence Ministry's plans.'' The daily Etemad-e Melli said the minister made the comments yesterday.


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