Iran successfully launched its most advanced satellite-carrying rocket into space, the country’s state media reported Thursday, in what is likely the most significant step yet for the launch vehicle.
A confirmed launch of the “Simorgh” rocket would mark another step forward for the Islamic Republic’s young space program, but is likely to raise alarm among its adversaries, who fear the same technology could be used to produce long-range missiles.
The U.S. State Department called the launch “provocative.”
Iranian state television said the rocket, whose name means “phoenix” in Persian, is capable of carrying a satellite weighing 250 kilograms (550 pounds). The report did not elaborate on the rocket’s payload. Other state-linked agencies including the semi-official Fars news agency also described the launch as successful.
Media reports did not say