7-6-5- Blast Off in Iran
By Micah Halpern
Thursday February 4, 2010
The Iranians took a rat, a turtle, a few worms and put them in a rocket ship and launched it into space. It sounds like the opening line of a good joke, but this is nothing to laugh about.
The Iranians really did put a rat, a turtle and worms into a rocket ship and sent it off into space. And with that launch the Iranians have catapulted not only a rocket into space, but Iran itself to almost the very head of the class of global space travel. The funny part was watching the launch and hearing the countdown and seeing nothing happen. The count down was begun again and this time the rocket took off - at the count of five.
The rocket is a Kovahshgar 3, also called an Explorer 3. It is Iran's third generation of space satellite rockets. What makes this rocket significantly different from other Iranian space ships is that the Kovahshgar 3 is a two-stage rocket system. This machine will travel 320 km into space.
Once a country achieves the ability to develop multi-stage rockets there is no limit to the distances their rockets will travel and the tasks their rockets will be able to perform. In a two-stage rocket the first, or spent, rocket detaches itself after lift off allowing the second, or next stage, rocket to launch again as a lighter space ship with more energy.
A long term objective of Iran's space program has been to move to any orbit that requires them to launch to 1000 km into space. Now that they have achieved the status of staged rockets, reaching their objective is only a matter of time. The satellites that Iran launches from here on will allow them the ability to monitor everything that happens in every corner of the entire globe. Everything.
Just prior to this launch Iran unveiled three new satellites called the Simorgh, or Phoenix. The unveiling and launch were televised on Iranian national TV and promoted as a part of Iran's anniversary celebration commemorating the Islamic Revolution. At the ceremony, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at length about the importance of these launches and these satellites. The president spoke about study and technology and the information that will be gleaned from this experiment of sending living organisms into space. The rat, the turtle and the worms will, he said, provide important information for scientists to analyze.
More frightening than the two-stage rocket, more frightening than the launch, is the knowledge that this despotic, demonic, extremist regime is in possession of this technology. The technology that launched the Kovahshgar 3 is the same technology that will allow Iran to provide a delivery system for non-conventional weapons.
This public launching in Iran is a watershed. While the West and the IAEA were running around trying to determine Iran's nuclear capability, Iran was legally building satellite rockets that easily convert to ballistic delivery armaments.
This launch demonstrates how advanced science and technology are in Iran, how fast they have developed over the past few months. It shows how deaf and blind the world has been to the significance of Iranian threats, how laissez faire the West has been in monitoring the aerospace industry in Iran, one of the most important elements of a nuclear delivery system.
And it shows how proud the Iranians are of their accomplishments - so proud that the Iranian government itself released a video of the launch on You Tube. Iran knows how to play the West - literally and figuratively.
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