TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran says it has launched a test tug into sub-orbital space. State TV said Tuesday that the Saman space tug was built by the country’s Space Research Center and launched by the Islamic Republic’s Defense Ministry. Hassan Salarieh, the country’s space agency chief, said the Monday launch is expected to be followed by testing soon. Iran unveiled the tug in 2017. The craft can transfer a satellite from one orbit to another. Iran has long pursued a space program, saying it is aimed at peaceful purposes. Iran has both a civilian and a military space program, which the U.S. fears could be used to advance its ballistic missile program.
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