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Second “Safir-E Omid”

(Emissary of Hope)

Booster Orbital Launch Attempt

© By Charles P. Vick (All Rights Reserved)


What Actually Happened in Flight Can be Estimated

This author was only able to come to these conclusions after several days of digesting the available information and documenting it carefully based on the DoD intelligence back grounder briefing and White House National Security back grounder briefing and the various press accounts of them which are documented here in. The SIGINT telemetry analysis and the radar along with the DSP thermal IR imaging create this understanding as described by several reporters giving a much more complete description of the events.

Yes the second stage did separate from the first stage with solid motor retro fire from the inter-stage area as seen externally and second stage solid motors pulling it forward located outside the top instrument guidance section to settle the propellants. Then the second stage started up during staging in this coast translation period. What happened to the inter-stage if anything once the second stage started up is a question in my mind but the first stage did work and successfully separate from the second stage? Second stage ignitions--if it occurred— took place immediately after staging, and this author surmises that it must have gone well as the upper solid motors pulled it free and clear of the first stage. Separation of the two halves of the payload shroud occurred at the much higher altitude of greater than 100-110 kilometers at about 150 seconds in flight about the time of failure when the second stage went wildly out of control. Presumable something sent the second stage out of control at over 100 km altitude beyond its orientation control capability but the second stage did part of the ascent burn before failure. Whether the second stage starts its burn after a long coast up in its ascent profile is not clear from the available evidence and is questionable from this author’s perspective.

Alternatively the evidence tends to suggest to this author that the failure was during the second stage burn after first stage separation and that the second stage failed just before shroud separation at about 150 seconds a little beyond 100-110 km altitude or so flying ultimately ballistic to about 500,000 feet well short of the expected ascent profile and required orbital velocity. Time will address the answer to this issue. Orbital insertion would require a solid motor spin up actively stabilized third stage which the Iranian may have opted to test or not to address on this flight test . This author suspect they did indeed attempt to test it and it may have failed prematurely badly precipitating the second stage failure. Ultimately the second stage its shroud and payload disintegrated on reentry which was probably quite a meteor incoming shower show viewable across a wide swath of the Arabian Gulf area.

The first flight test in February never started the second stage burn but the turbo machinery did work as it was spiraling back to earth near the launch site as seen in video. (8) Apparently the Iranian’s have no staging environmental test facility like the US and other countries do but they have been more successful with their solid motor staging with the three stage Ashura MRBM placed in production in 2007 replacement for the Shahab-3A/B.


CPV 08-28-08

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Page last modified: 21-07-2011 00:51:49 ZULU