|Function||LEO launch vehicle|
|Manufacturer||Iranian Space Agency|
|Country of origin||Iran|
|Height||22 m (72ft)|
|Diameter||1.25 m (4.10ft)|
|Payload to LEO|
|Mass||50 kilograms (110 lb)|
|Launch sites||Semnan Space Center|
|Total launches||7 (1 unconfirmed)|
(+2 test flights)
|Failure(s)||3 (1 unconfirmed)|
|First flight||17 August 2008|
|Last flight||5 February 2019|
|Powered by||1 × modified Shahab-3 engine|
|Maximum thrust||363 kN (82,000 lbf)|
|Propellant||N2O4 / UDMH|
|Powered by||2 × R-27 Zyb vernier engines|
|Maximum thrust||35 kN (7,900 lbf)|
|Propellant||N2O4 / UDMH|
The Safir (Persian: سفیر, meaning "ambassador") was the first Iranian expendable launch vehicle able to place a satellite in orbit. The first successful orbital launch using the Safir launch system took place on 2 February 2009 when a Safir carrier rocket placed the Omid satellite into an orbit with a 245.2 km (152.4 mi) apogee. Making Iran the ninth nation capable of producing and launching a satellite.
Design and specifications
The Safir measures 1.25 meters in diameter, 22 meters in height and has a launching mass of 26 tons. The rocket consists of two stages; The first stage utilizes an upgraded Nodong/Shahab-3 type engine which burns a hypergolic combination of UDMH as fuel and nitrogen tetroxide as oxidant, producing 37 tons (363 kN; 82,500 lbf) of thrust. The second stage utilizes a pair of smaller engines (originally the Vernier engines of the R-27 Zyb Soviet SLBM) burning the same fuel combination as the first stage and producing 3.5 tons (35 kN; 7700 lbf) of thrust. This configuration gives Safir the ability to inject a payload with a maximum weight of 50 kilograms into low-earth orbit.
Kavoshgar-1 (Persian: کاوشگر ۱, "Explorer-1") was Safir's precursor used as a sounding rocket, a sub-orbital flight was conducted on 4 February 2008, as announced by state-run television. A launch on 25 February 2007 may also have been of the same type. The flight carried instruments to measure the higher atmosphere. The rocket launched on 4 February 2008 was a liquid-propellant-driven rocket, a derivative of the Shahab-3, that reached an altitude of 200–250 km in space, and successfully returned science data according to the Iranian News Agency.
On 19 February 2008, Iran offered new information about the rocket and announced that Kavoshgar-1 used a two staged rocket. The first stage separated after 100 seconds and returned to earth with the help of a parachute. The second stage continued its ascent to an altitude of 200 kilometers.
The Safir-1A is the first upgraded variant of the original Safir, these upgrades include, refinement of the second stage retro-rockets, stage separation systems, various sensors and telemetry systems, navigation and control systems, as well as increasing maximum orbit height from 250 to 275 kilometers.
The Safir-1B is a further upgrade of the Safir-1A design, the first-stage engine has been upgraded and refined, resulting in an increase in thrust from 32 to 37tons (363 kN; 82,500 lbf), the second stage engine has been upgraded with thrust vector control capability and has been made more efficient. These upgrades have increased payload capability to 50 kilograms, and have increased maximum orbit height to 400 kilometers.
During the unveiling ceremony of the Zuljanah satellite launch vehicle on the state TV, Seyed Ahmad Husseini, the spokesman of the Ministry of Defense's Aerospace Organization stated that the Safir Launch vehicle is in a state of retirement and no further launches are planned with this vehicle.
Safir has made eight launches so far, putting 4 satellites into orbit.
|Flight No.||Date & Time
|1||4 February 2008||Unknown||Kavoshgar-1||Successfull suborbital test flight of Safir's precursor.|
|2||17 August 2008||Unknown; may be boilerplate||Safir-1||Iranian officials claimed that the launch was a successfull suborbital test carrying a boilerplate satellite. US defense officials claimed the vehicle failed after first-stage powered flight.|
|Flight No.||Date & Time
|1||2 February 2009||Omid||27 kg||Safir-1||Success||First successful orbital launch of Safir making Iran the ninth country to develop an indigenous satellite launch capability.|
|2||15 June 2011||Rasad||15.3 kg||Safir-1A||Success||Rasad-1 was launched on the maiden flight of the Safir-1A|
|3||3 February 2012||Navid||50 kg||Safir-1B||Success||New configuration of the Safir carrier rocket, featuring a larger second stage with 20% more thrust.|
|?||Between 18 May and 21 June 2012||?||?||?||Supposed failure||Satellite imagery shows a blast scar on launch pad, suggesting that there has been a launch. No officials have confirmed a launch. It may have been either an engine test or rocket failure at high altitude.|
|5||2 February 2015||Fajr||52 kg||Safir-1B||Success||First Iranian satellite with orbital maneuverability using cold-gas thrusters.|
|6||5 February 2019||Doosti||52 kg||Safir-1B||Failure||The Deputy Minister of Defense in Iran claimed a successful launch. Research associates at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies claimed the launch failed at some point after liftoff.|
|(7)||29 August 2019||No payload||Safir-1B||Failure||Launch preparation accident.|
Safir at an exhibition at the Mosalla of Tehran
- International rankings of Iran in Science and Technology
- Asian space race
- Iranian Space Agency
- Simorgh (rocket)
- Qased (rocket)
- Zuljanah (rocket)
- Semnan Space Center
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- Clark, Stephen (11 February 2019). "Second Iranian satellite launch attempt in a month fails". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
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- "نگاهی به ماهواره برهای ایرانی (سفیر و سیمرغ )". گروه آموزشی زانکو (in Persian). 2020-01-29. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
- ""سفیر" رسما بازنشسته شد تا "سیمرغ" مهیای سفر فضایی شود/ طلسم استفاده ماهوارهبر ایرانی از سوخت جامد با سریر و سروش میشکند؟ +عکس". مشرق نیوز (in Persian). 2020-01-28. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
- "سخنگوی گروه فضایی وزارت دفاع: ماهوارهبرهای "سریر" و "سروش" رونمایی میشوند/ به دنبال ماهوارهبر سوخت جامد هستیم- اخبار نظامی | دف - اخبار سیاسی تسنیم | Tasnim". خبرگزاری تسنیم | Tasnim (in Persian). Retrieved 2021-04-05.
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- McDowell, Jonathan. "Issue 606". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
- "Иран запустил второй за месяц спутник собственного производства". РИА Новости (in Russian). 2019-02-07. Retrieved 2019-02-07.
- Brumfiel, Geoff (2019-02-06). "Satellite Imagery Suggests 2nd Iranian Space Launch Has Failed". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-02-07.
- "Mysterious Iran rocket blast draws Trump tweet, Tehran taunt". AP NEWS. 2021-04-20. Retrieved 2022-06-24.
- Iranian Rocket Launch Ends In Failure, Imagery Shows npr.org
- Iran rocket launch failure satellite photo space.com
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Safir.|
- Iran's Research Rocket Beams Back Science Data, Space.com
- Iran Launches Rocket, Unveils Space Center, Space.com
- Iran's Sputnik, SpaceRef.com
- Iran rocket claim raises tension, BBC
- Iran: Rocket Launch Another Show Of Prowess, RadioFreeEurope RadioLiberty
- Iran claims space rocket launch, AlJazeera
- Iranians inaugurate space project, BBC
- Iran to Launch 2 More Research Rockets Before Placing Satellite into Orbit This Summer, on Space.com
- Iran Launches Indigenous Carrier Rocket