TEHRAN -- An Iranian satellite launched by Russia blasted off from Kazakhstan early on Tuesday and successfully went into orbit.
Live footage from the Russian space agency Roscosmos showed the launch of the Soyuz-2.1b rocket carrying the Khayyam satellite, named after the Persian scholar, poet, and mathematician Omar Khayyam.
The launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome, a spaceport in an area of southern Kazakhstan leased to Russia, took place at the scheduled time of 05:52 GMT.
Russian mission control confirmed its subsequent entry into orbit, and Iran’s space agency has received the first telemetry data sent from the satellite, the official IRNA news agency said.
Last week, the Washington Post claimed that U.S. officials were concerned not only that the satellite could help Russia in Ukraine but also provide Iran with “unprecedented capabilities” to monitor potential military targets in Occupied Palestine and the wider region.
On Sunday, the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) said Tehran would control the Khayyam satellite “from day one”.
“No third country is able to access the information” sent by the satellite due to its “encrypted algorithm,” it said.
The purpose of Khayyam is to “monitor the country’s borders”, enhance agricultural productivity and monitor water resources and natural disasters, the space agency said.
In a pre-launch statement on Monday, the ISA praised “the high-reliability factor of the Soyuz launcher”.
“Due to Khayyam satellite’s weight of more than half a tonne and the very high success rate of the Soyuz launcher, the launch of the Khayyam satellite has been entrusted