A much-hyped Tehran space launch turned out to be a dud, as the Iranian Simorgh rocket suffered a "catastrophic failure" shortly after liftoff on Thursday and likely blew up before it reached space, two U.S. officials told Fox News.
On Thursday, U.S. Strategic Command, which monitors launches around the world, could only confirm a satellite was not deployed from the rocket. But fresh intelligence assessments on Friday confirmed yet another failure by the Islamic Republic in its mission to place an operational satellite into orbit --something Tehran has never done before, despite repeated attempts over the past few years.
Officials have long been concerned the technology used to put a satellite into space could also be re-purposed to make a long-range ballistic missile capable of one day potentially hitting the U.S. The Simorgh rocket is based on a North Korean design.