While Iran has yet to confirm the reports that it has had another orbital launch fallure on 17-18 February 2013, the evidence is growing. The flight is thought to have been a launch of the Iran’s Safir launch vehicle carrying a small remote sensing/observation satellite called Fajr 3. The Times of Israel and Israel’s Channel 2 television station note that “western intelligence sources” have confirmed all contact with both the rocket and the satellite were lost after launch. The launch is thought to have taken place from the Semnan launch site in Iran.
The flight follows on from three orbital launch attempts last year made by Iran’s smaller Safir launch vehicle. Of these the first launch by a Safir 2 (1B) Block 2 launch vehicle was successful in February carrying the Navid (Navid-E-Elm-o Sanat) weather/remote sensing satellite into orbit. This was followed by two Safir 2 (1B) launch failures in April and September carrying Fajr 1 and Fajr 2 remote sensing satellies respectively
Further evidence that a launch attempt took place was that Iran issued a NOTAMS warning to aircraft to avoid the area and yet no announcement was made for the launch on 17 -18 February 2013.
A0425/13 – OID51 ACTIVATED, REF AIP PAGE ENR 5.1.3-5. DRG ACT AWY B411 BTN DHN VOR/DME AND GIBAB CLSD. GND – UNL, FEB 17 AND 18 / 0630-0830 AND 1130-1330, 17 FEB 06:30 2013 UNTIL 18 FEB 13:30 2013. CREATED: 16 FEB 13:28 2013
The Flightglobal SpaceTrak database will be noting this flight as a failure.
Meantime, Israel has had another success in its anti-ballistic missile programme with a successful targetless test flight was performed by its latest incarnation of hte Arrow missile system, the Arrow 3, on 25 February 2013.