The state-run IRNA news service said Iran launched a small weather satellite into orbit early Feb. 3 on its Safir rocket, the Associated Press reports.
IRNA said the Iranian-made Navid, or Gospel, satellite weighs 50 kilograms and is expected to remain in orbit for about two months. It is designed to collect data on weather conditions and monitor for natural disasters, the news service said.
Iran’s decade-old space program has raised concerns in Israel and the West because of its possible military applications: The same technology that allows missiles to launch satellites can be used to fire warheads. IRNA said the Safir launcher has 20 percent more launch power than its earlier satellite carrier missiles.