3 scientists killed in fire at space research centre, Iranian media reports
This picture released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry on Thursday, July 27, 2017, claims to show the Simorgh satellite-carrying rocket at Imam Khomeini National Space Center in an undisclosed location, Iran. (Iranian Defense Ministry via AP)
TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency is reporting that a fire in the country's space research centre 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.