Simorgh (rocket)

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سیمرغ - افتتاح پایگاه ملی فضایی امام خمینی(ره) (4).jpg
The Simorgh space launch vehicle.
FunctionSmall-lift space launch vehicle
Country of origin Iran
Height26.5 m (87 ft)
Diameter2.4 m (7 ft 10 in) first stage, 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) second stage
Mass87 t (192,000 lb)
Payload to LEO
(500 km)
Mass350 kg (770 lb)
Associated rockets
Familyderived from Unha (first stage) and Safir (second stage) [1]
Launch history
Launch sitesSemnan LP-2
Total launches4 (+1 suborbital)
Success(es)0 (1 suborbital)
First flight19 April 2016[1] (suborbital)
27 July 2017 (orbital)
Last flightActive
First stage
Engines4 × modified Shahab-3 engines + 4 verniers
Thrust1,590 kN (360,000 lbf)
PropellantN2O4 / UDMH
Second stage
Engines4 × R-27 Zyb vernier engines
Thrust70 kN (16,000 lbf)
PropellantN2O4 / UDMH
Third stage
Thrust13 kN (2,900 lbf)

Simorgh (Persian: ماهواره‌بر سیمرغ‎, Phoenix), also called Safir-2, is an Iranian expendable small-capacity orbital space launch vehicle.[2][3] The project was unveiled by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on 3 February 2010, as part of celebrations of the first anniversary of the launch of Omid, the first indigenously-launched Iranian satellite,[4] and was launched for the first time on 19 April 2016.[5]


The Simorgh rocket is 26.5 metres (87 ft) long, and has a launch mass of 87 tonnes (192,000 lb). Its first stage with a diameter of 2.4 meters is powered by a cluster of four synchronized Safir-1B first-stage engines with four separate turbopumps, each of these engines generating up to 37,000 kilograms-force (360 kN; 82,000 lbf) of thrust, plus a set of four vernier engines sharing a single turbopump used for attitude control providing an additional 14,000 kgf (140 kN; 31,000 lbf). At liftoff, these engines generate a total 162,000 kgf (1,590 kN; 360,000 lbf) of thrust.[6][7] The second stage with a diameter of 1.5 meters utilizes a set of four smaller engines (originally the vernier engines of the soviet R-27 Zyb[8]) producing 7,000 kgf (69 kN; 15,000 lbf) of thrust.[7][9] The third stage is a solid-fueled Saman-1 upper stage producing 1,300 kgf (13 kN; 2,900 lbf) of thrust.[7][9] Enabling the Simorgh to place a 350-kilogram (770 lb) payload or one main payload and several secondary cubesats into a 500-kilometre (310 mi) low Earth orbit .[1][10]

The Simorgh's total flight time to a 500-530km orbit is between 480 and 495 seconds. first stage separation takes place at an altitude of 90 km and a velocity of 2300 m/s. Simultaneously second stage engines ignite and the fairing shroud is ejected, the satellite is then accelerated to 7400 m/s and injected into its designated orbit.[10]

In contrast to its predecessor Safir, the Simorgh is integrated and assembled vertically on the launch pad, each stage goes through manufacturing horizontally and is subsequently brought to the launch pad, where final assembly of the stages are completed with the aid of a custom designed service tower.[10]

Simorgh Launch Pad at Imam Khomeini Space Center
The Simorgh Launch Pad at Imam Khomeini Space Center.

Service History[edit]

The development of the Simorgh has been marked with difficulties and unreliability of certain sub-systems due to the overcomplexity of its engines and turbopumps, out of the system's first four launches (two orbital and two sub-orbital launches) there have been three failures, giving the rocket a reliability rating of twenty five percent. there were however, indications of progressive improvements to the design and reliability of the system with each successive launch and failure. with the 2017 launch only operating for 120 seconds before failure, the 2019 launch 450 seconds before failure, and the 2020 launch operating correctly for 475 seconds out of the 490 seconds of operation required for a successful mission, giving the missions a 25, 92, and 97 percent success rate respectively, indicating a trend of increasing reliability in the design.[10][11][12]

Launch history[edit]

Flight No. Date & Time (UTC) Payload Type Outcome Remarks
1 19 April 2016 No Payload Simorgh Success Sub-orbital test flight[5]
2 27 July 2017 No Payload Simorgh Failure Orbital Test flight; second stage failed[13]
3 15 January 2019 Payam (named "AUT-SAT" previously)[13] Simorgh Failure Third stage failed[14]
4 9 February 2020


Zafar-1[15] Simorgh Failure Satellite fails to reach orbit[16]
5 12 June 2021[17] Unknown payload Simorgh Failure Failed to reach Low Earth orbit


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Eshel, Tamir (24 April 2016). "Simorgh First Launch – an Iranian Success or Failure?". Defense Update. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Iran fails in satellite launch attempt – Spaceflight Now".
  3. ^ "Iran brags it launched rocket into space... with mouse, turtles & worms". New York Daily News. 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2010-02-03.
  4. ^ Arrott, Elizabeth (2010-02-03). "Iran Announces New Rockets, Satellites on Space Day". VOA News. Retrieved 2010-02-03.
  5. ^ a b "Simorgh First Launch - an Iranian Success or Failure?". 24 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Iranian DM: Simorgh to Carry Tolou, Mesbah Satellites into Space". Fars News Agency. 2010-02-03. Archived from the original on 2011-11-13. Retrieved 2010-02-03.
  7. ^ a b c "موشک های ماهواره بر ایران". جنگاوران (in Persian). 2017-08-16. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
  8. ^ "Soviet R-27 SLBM and the reuse of its steering engines by North Korea and Iran". Retrieved 2021-04-15.
  9. ^ a b "Safir-2 (Simorgh) IRILV". Retrieved 2021-04-15.
  10. ^ a b c d "ماهواره‌بر "سیمرغ" چگونه متولد شد؟ +عکس". مشرق نیوز (in Persian). 2020-03-22. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  11. ^ Egozi, Arie (2020-06-29). "New Iranian Missile Could Strike Central Europe: Analysis". Breaking Defense. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  12. ^ Berger, Eric (2021-06-25). "Rocket Report: China to copy SpaceX's Super Heavy? Vulcan slips to 2022". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2021-06-27.
  13. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter. "Simorgh (Safir-2)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  14. ^ Tawfeeq, Mohammed; Qiblawi, Tamara (15 January 2019). "Despite US warning, Iran launches satellite and fails". CNN. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  15. ^ - 11 February 2020
  16. ^ "Iranian Satellite Launched But Fails To Reach Earth's Orbit". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  17. ^ Cohen, Zachary; Liebermann, Oren (23 June 2021). "Pentagon tracked failed Iranian satellite launch and new images reveal Tehran is set to try again". CNN. Retrieved 23 June 2021.

External links[edit]