At 0030 GMT on 15 January 2019, the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) attempted to launch the AMIR KABIR-1 (PAYAM) satellite into Low Earth Orbit (LEO), utilising its three-stage Simorgh-Basir light launch vehicle. This launch is reported to have ended in failure due to an anomaly with the vehicle’s third stage. This caused the rocket to fail to inject the satellite into a stable orbit, resulting in its loss. The satellite was reportedly carrying an Earth observation and a communications payload.

It is unknown how this launch failure will affect the planned launch of another satellite, DOUSTI, which was announced by Iran earlier in the month.

A photo of the Simorgh rocket lifting-off from the Imam Khomeini Spaceport carrying the PAYAM satellite. Courtesy of the MIZAN News Agency