Photo: Sepah News

Iran claims to have launched its first military satellite into orbit on Wednesday, according to The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. If true, the mission would be Iran’s first successful rocket launch in some time after repeated failed attempts to put a vehicle into space.

News of the launch comes somewhat out of the blue. In the past, Earth-imaging satellites have spotted the country’s launch preparations, but there was no public heads-up about this particular mission. Iran says the satellite, called Noor, took off on top of a relatively unknown rocket called Ghased, or “Messenger,” from Iran’s Central Desert and reached an altitude of 425 kilometers, or 265 miles, above the Earth, according to The Associated Press.

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