Iran launches Simorgh rocket from Imam Khomeini Space Launch Center

Last Thursday on July 29 Iranian News Agency and Iranian Space Agency announced about launching their latest rocket called Simorgh (Phoenix). Start took place at recently opened Imam Khomeini Space Launch Center in Semnan Province in Northern Iran.

Simorgh is latest from group of previous Iranian carrier rockets launched in previous years: Safir-1, Safir-1A and Safir-1B. It was designed to be first Iranian rocket able to deliver payload to orbit usable for satellites. Two stage vehicle should be able to deliver 250 kg to 500 km orbit.

As official sources avoided to give any details on launch hour, we are forced to rely on US sources with main source: USSTRATCOM. According to this agency rocket was launched at 09:30 UTC on July 29, 2017. American sources also claim that rocket suffered for serious problems and exploded shortly after start. Official Iranian sources have not confirmed or deny this information, still no additional pictures of rocket in flight or flight parameters were given to the public.

Simorgh is latest rocket designed in Iran and along with recently opened Imam Khomeini Space Launch Center, it was one of the key elements of Iranian space program in recent years. Rocket is two stage vehicle with first stage powered by four engines (1245 kN) with additional stabilizing 4 chamber motor (147 kN). First stage should work for 120 s and later jettison and let second stage to ignite. Second stage is enlarged Safir-1B upper stage with tanks holding 7.5 t of propellant and two twin chamber engines providing 70.6t kN. Project also assumed using small upper stage for orbit kick but during test flight it was not used. It was not unveiled if it was already ready for flight or it is in phase of development.

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