TEHRAN, June 16 (UPI) -- Iranian officials say they have successfully launched a domestically made satellite into orbit, the second such launch in the past year.
Iran's state-run Fars news agency said the satellite was launched Wednesday evening and it is intended for telecommunications and research purposes.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in February Iran would send two recently built satellites into orbit, but it wasn't clear if this is one of the orbiters he spoke about.
Ahmadinejad also said Iran plans to send astronauts into space in 2019, five years earlier than first announced.
The satellite weighed less than 40 pounds and will circle the Earth 15 times every 24 hours. The satellite can make contact with terrestrial stations and it is also capable of sending photographs back to Earth.