On March 8, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) successfully put a second military satellite, the Noor 2, into orbit.
The Tasnim news agency said that the IRGC successfully launched the satellite with a three-stage satellite carrier, dubbed Qassed. The operation was carried from a launch pad located in desert in Shahroud, in the northeast region of Iran.
Noor 2 is currently orbiting at an altitude of 500 kilometers. The satellite will allegedly be used for remote-sensing and reconnaissance operations.
Following the successful launch of Noor 2, Space Commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force, Ali Jafarabadi, revealed that Iran is planning to send a series of military satellites into orbit over the coming years.
“We will launch a series of Noor satellites in the coming years. The space program of the country, of which we are a part, is to stabilize various scientific, research and Defence satellites in low-earth orbit and then reach orbit of 36,000 kilometers above land,” Jafarabadi said.
Iran’s first military satellite was launched on 22 April 2020, also by the IRGC. The satellite, Noor 1, reached an orbit of 425 kilometers above the surface of the Earth.
The successful launch of the military satellite came amid progress in the international talks on Iran’s nuclear program. The IRGC apparently wanted to send a message of strength. A relaunch of the 2015 nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is reportedly near.