Three scientists killed in fire in Iranian space center

Officials declined to elaborate on the fire, which occurred as Iran plans to launch a satellite into orbit

The Associated Press
The Associated Press
FILE PHOTO: A frame grab from Iranian state TV shows a rocket carrying a Payam satellite being launched at Imam Khomeini Space Center, Semnan province, Iran, January 15, 2019.
FILE PHOTO: A frame grab from Iranian state TV shows a rocket carrying a Payam satellite being launched at Imam Khomeini Space Center, Semnan province, Iran, January 15, 2019.Credit: ,AP
The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency is reporting that a fire in the country's space research center has killed three scientists.

The Sunday report quotes Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi as saying that three researchers have died "because of a fire in one of the buildings of the Space Research Center." Jahromi did not elaborate in the report.

Iran plans to launch a satellite into orbit despite U.S. criticism that such launches benefit its ballistic missile program.

In January, the country launched a satellite, but authorities said it failed to reach the "necessary speed" in the third stage of its launch. 

Iran's young space program has sent several short-lived satellites into orbit over the past decade, and in 2013 launched a monkey into space.

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