The Nour-3 (Light-3) space satellite is ready to be launched into orbit. Photo/X/@Safarnejad_IR
TEHERAN – The Nour-3 (Light-3) space satellite was launched into orbit using a Qased (Messenger) carrier rocket on Wednesday (27/9/2023).
Previous satellites in the series drew derision from Pentagon officials. But the ridicule quickly stopped after Iran showed off its impressive spacecraft capabilities.
“The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) will use the Nour-3 satellite to collect military intelligence information,” said IRGC Chief Hossein Salami.
“We use what we collect from the satellite and (information) it collects from Earth to fulfill the IRGC’s intelligence requests,” Salami said at a meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.
Separately, IRGC Aerospace Forces Commander Amir-Ali Hajizadeh said Nour-3 would “engage in signal collection.”
He revealed that by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (in March 2024), Iran has plans to launch “two more satellites.”
“With the progress we have made in this direction, in the not too distant future, we will have a constellation of satellites in orbit,” Hajizadeh said.
Iran’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Issa Zarepour announced earlier in the day that Nour-3 had been successfully launched into orbit, about 450 km above the Earth’s surface.
Iran is one of a handful of countries in the world that has the capability to independently develop, manufacture, launch and operate satellites, and arguably has the most developed space-based capabilities in the Muslim World.