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Iran launches its first homemade satellite

Iran confirms satellite launch
Iran confirms satellite launch

Iran has announced that it has successfully launched its first-ever domestic satellite into orbit.

Its makers have called it Omid, which means hope, and see the satellite as the first tentative steps for Iran into the space industry.

According to Reuters, Omid has been designed to gather information and test equipment, and will circle the earth 14 times a day. The satellite was launched in Tehran.

The US and Europe are a little concerned, however, that the launch is a boast that Iran has the technology to power long-range missiles.

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Iran disagrees, with the country's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, insisting the launch is peaceful, explaining: Iran's satellite technology is for purely peaceful purposes and to meet the needs of the country."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, even went as far to say that the satellite would spread "monotheism, peace and justice" around the world.

The launch of Omid isn't that much of a surprise. Iran announced last August that it had the technology to power a satellite into space by launching a rocket, and it was rumoured a satellite would be launched to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Iranian revolution.

This isn't the first Iranian satellite in space. In 2005, Sina-1, an Iranian-made satellite was launched using Russian rockets.