Safir (rocket)

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Not to be confused with Saphir (rocket).
Iran rocket irilv.jpg
Prior to the 2 February 2009 launch with Omid on board
Function LEO launch vehicle
Manufacturer Iranian Space Agency
Country of origin  Iran
Height 22 m (72ft)
Diameter 1.25 m (4.10ft)
Mass 26,000 kg
Stages 2
Payload to LEO 50 kilograms (110 lb)[1]
Associated rockets
Family Shahab
Launch history
Status Operational
Launch sites Iran Space Center
Total launches 7
Successes Orbital: 4 Sub-Orbital: 1
Failures 2

The Safir (Persian: سفیر‎‎, meaning "ambassador") is the name of the first Iranian expendable launch vehicle that is able to place a satellite in orbit.[2] 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.[3][4]


A sub-orbital test flight, named Kavoshgar-1 (Persian: کاوشگر ۱‎‎, "Explorer-1"), 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 first flights carried instruments to measure the higher atmosphere. The rocket launched on 4 February 2008 was a liquid-propellant-driven rocket, probably 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.[5] The first stage separated after 100 seconds and returned to earth with the help of a parachute. The second stage continued its ascent to the altitude of 200 kilometres. However it was not intended to reach orbital velocity.

Earlier reports by the Iranian News Agency suggested that Kavoshgar-1 used a three staged rocket with the first stage separating after 90 seconds and the rocket reaching an orbit between 200 and 250 kilometres.[6][7]

The successful development and launch of a sounding-space-rocket was already announced a year earlier, on 25 February 2007. It is unknown if the sounding rocket launched on 25 February 2007, and the rocket launched on 4 February 2008, are of the same type.

Launch history[edit]

Safir has made 6 launches so far putting 4 satellight into orbits.

Flight No Date & Time (GMT) Payload Type Outcome Remarks
1 17 August 2008 Dummy Satellite Safir-1 Success Sub-orbital Launch for testing purpose. It is alleged that the launch was a failure despite Iranian officials denouncing the allegations as propaganda claiming that the launch was never meant to be an orbital one.[8]
2 2 February 2009 Omid Safir-1 Success First successful orbital launch of Safir making Iran the ninth country to develop an indigenous satellite launch capability.[9]
3 15 June 2011 Rasad Safir-1A Success Rasad-1 was launched on the maiden flight of the Safir-1B with increased thrust.
4 3 February 2012 Navid Safir-1B Success New configuration of the Safir carrier rocket, featuring a larger second stage with 20% more thrust.
5 2 February 2013 Unknown (Possibly the first version of Fajr) Safir-1B+ Failure Satellite imagery suggests that Safir has exploded on launch pad destroying the first version of Fajr satellite and TEL.[10]
6 20 March 2014 Unknown (Possibly Tadbir) Safir-1B+ Failure Satellite imagery shows blast scar on launch pad suggesting that there has been a launch but the outcome is unknown. It may have been either an engine test or rocket failure at high altitude.
7 2 February 2015 Fajr Safir-1B+ Success First Iranian satellite with orbital maneuverability using cold-gas thrusters

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Parisa Hafezi (2008-08-17). "Iran launches first home-made satellite into space". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  3. ^ "OMID Spacecraft - Trajectory Details". NASA NSSDC. 
  4. ^ "The Threat". US Missile Defense Agency. 
  5. ^ "Iran provides space launch info". Press TV. 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  6. ^ Ali Akbar Dareini (2008). "Iran to Launch 2 More Research Rockets Before Placing Satellite into Orbit This Summer". Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  7. ^ "Iran's Research Rocket Beams Back Science Data". Associated Press. 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  8. ^ "Iran launches satellite carrier". BBC News. 2008-08-17. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  9. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Issue 606". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  10. ^ Hansen, Nick (October 1, 2012). "Rocket science - Iran's rocket programme". Jane's Intelligence Review. 24 (10). 

External links[edit]