A joint research satellite of China, Iran and Thailand was launched on a Chinese rocket on Sunday aimed at boosting cooperation on natural disasters such as earthquakes, an Iranian minister said on Sunday.
The announcement came just a few weeks after Iran said on Aug. 17 it had put a dummy satellite into orbit on a domestically made rocket for the first time. U.S. officials said the attempted launch was a failure.
Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Soleimani said the three countries had worked together on the satellite which he said was equipped with cameras.
"This morning it was launched successfully and it was placed into orbit," he told state television, without giving details.
"Iran and China and regional countries are countries which have a lot of natural disasters," he said. "God willing, we can have good activities in the direction of aerospace research."
Iran tested a domestically made rocket as part of its satellite programme in February, the Explorer 1. It said it needed two more similar tests before putting a domestically made satellite into orbit.
The long-range ballistic technology used to put satellites into space can also be used for launching weapons.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who visited Beijing on Saturday, last month said Iran planned to launch a telecommunications satellite.
The head of Iran's aerospace organisation, Reza Taghipour, has said Iran was working with Russia and other Asian states to launch a satellite and also that it would cooperate with Islamic states in building one.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Eylül 2008, 19:05