Iran's Revolutionary Guard launches successful rocket test: report

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Iran's Revolutionary Guard successfully launched a new rocket designed to eventually send satellites on Saturday (Nov. 5), according to state media reports. 

The test flight launched Iran's new Ghaem 100 rocket, a three-stage solid-fueled vehicle, on a suborbital test flight, according to country's state-run IRNA news agency and Reuters. It is designed to carry satellites of up to 176 pounds (80 kilograms) into orbits of about 310 miles (500 kilometers) above Earth, they added. 

"The flight test of this satellite carrier with a solid-fueled engine ... was successfully completed," Reuters quoted IRNA as reporting. Exactly where Iran launched the test flight from was unclear.

Related: Iran in space: rockets, satellites & monkeys (photos)

Saturday's launch tested the first-stage of the Ghaem 100 rocket, according to Aljazeera. The new rocket will be used for future launches of Iran's Nahid communications satellites, said Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guard aerospace division,  Aljazeera added.

The test flight follows the launch of an Iranian military spy satellite by Russia in August of this year, the first flight of the country's Zoljanah suborbital rocket in 2021 and the country's first homegrown launch of a military satellite in 2020 on a Qassad rocket. 

U.S. officials watch Iran's rocket programs closely due to concerns that such space launch technology could also be used to develop ballistic missiles as long-range weapons. 

Last month, the satellite operator Eutelsat accused Iran of jamming two satellites used to broadcast Persian-language television and radio from outside the country. That complaint, as well as Saturday's launch, come amid widespread anti-government protests in Iran following the death of an Iranian-Kurdish woman detained by Iran's police.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.