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According to U.S. officials, Iran has attempted and failed twice in the past month to place satellites in orbit.
Iran’s second try in less than a month to send a satellite into orbit apparently failed shortly after liftoff from a remote desert launch pad under daily surveillance from a fleet of commercial imaging spacecraft, according to U.S. government officials and independent analysts.
Images of the launch pad in north-central Iran taken by orbiting satellites owned by U.S. companies suggest a rocket launch occurred last week, but the U.S. military’s catalog of space objects registered no new spacecraft in orbit. A satellite launch attempt was expected in recent weeks based on statements from Iran’s government and observations of increasing activity at the launch site.
Iran has admitted to a launch failure on January 15, though it denies the failure last week, claiming instead that the February launch succeeded in placing its satellite in orbit, even though no new satellite has been detected.