Russian rocket successfully puts Iranian satellite into orbit

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Roscosmos space corporation

In this photo released by Roscosmos space corporation on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, the Soyuz-2.1b rocket blasts off at the Vostochny cosmodrome outside the city of Tsiolkovsky, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the city of Blagoveshchensk in the far eastern Amur region, Russia. A Russian Soyuz rocket successfully put an Iranian satellite into orbit along with 18 Russian satellites on Thursday. (Roscosmos space corporation via AP)

MOSCOW – A Russian rocket on Thursday successfully put an Iranian satellite into orbit, a launch that underlined increasingly close cooperation between Moscow and Tehran.

Russia's state-run Roscosmos corporation said that a Soyuz rocket blasted off from the Vostochny launch facility in the country's far east to carry the Iranian satellite and 18 Russian satellites into orbit.

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The Iranian state TV said the 110-kilogram (242-pound) satellite has three cameras to take images for environmental, agricultural and other purposes.

Iran’s state TV said the satellite will be put into orbit around the North and South Poles, synchronized to be in the same fixed position relative to the Sun, and will be fully functional after a calibration of its systems.

Thursday's launch comes after Russia put into orbit the Iranian Khayyam satellite in 2022.

Iran's Communication Minister Isa Zarepour told the TV that Iran's space program has had a total of 23 launches, including 12 during President Ebrahim Raisi's administration.

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