Satellite images, un EE. UU.. official and a rocket expert all confirmed the failed launch, a principios de este mes, at the Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s Semnan province. The attempt comes as Iran’s space program has suffered a series of high-profile losses, while its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard runs its own parallel program that launched a satellite into orbit last year.
Iran’s Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi later Wednesday denied Tehran had a failed satellite launch, but offered no explanation for the activity at the spaceport. Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Wednesday.
This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies that has been annotated by experts at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at Middlebury Institute of International Studies shows preparation at the Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran’s Semnan province on June 6, 2021 before what experts believe was the launch of a satellite-carrying rocket. Iran likely conducted a failed launch of a satellite-carrying rocket in recent days and now appears to be preparing to try again, their latest effort to advance their space program amid tensions with the West over its tattered nuclear deal. (©2021 Maxar Technologies, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at Middlebury Institute of International Studies via AP)