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[i]The small Omid communications satellite was launched Monday evening aboard a Safir 2 rocket, the Fars news agency reported.
Two objects from the launch, likely the Omid satellite and part of its booster, are circling Earth in oval-shaped orbits.
The orbits range in altitude from low points of 153 miles to high points of 235 miles and 273 miles. The orbital inclination is 55.5 degrees, according to U.S. military tracking data.
Iran joins a small group of countries with the ability to build and launch their own satellites into orbit.
The former Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, in October 1957. The United States followed with the successful launch of Explorer 1 in January 1958.
France, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, India and Israel later developed and successfully flew their own space launchers.
Iran is the first new space-faring nation since Israel joined the club in 1988.[/i]
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