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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Iran's space launch suggests no technology leap

By Doug Richardson, JMR Editor

The launch of Iran's first space research rocket does not represent a significant development in Iranian rocket technology.

The vehicle's performance is similar to that of existing Iranian solid-propellant tactical missiles.

In a statement to Iran's Fars news agency, Ali Akbar Golrou, executive deputy of the Aerospace Research Institute, said that the vehicle was a sounding rocket able to carry a payload to an altitude of 150 km before returning it by parachute.

Sounding rockets are normally launched on near-vertical trajectories in order to attain the greatest height possible from their post-boost velocity. To obtain the maximum range from a rocket of modest performance, it must be fired at an angle of about 45 degrees. (This assumes a flat, non-rotating earth, without an atmosphere, but is a good approximation for short-range tactical missiles.)

Jane's Missiles and Rockets
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