Satellite photos show burning Iran space center launch pad

International News

This satellite image from Planet Labs Inc., that has been annotated by experts at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at Middlebury Institute of International Studies, shows a fire at a rocket launch pad at the Imam Khomeini Space Center in Iran’s Semnan province, Thursday Aug. 29, 2019. The satellite image released Thursday shows the smoldering remains of a rocket at a Iran space center that was to conduct a U.S.-criticized satellite launch. (Planet Labs Inc, Middlebury Institute of International Studies via AP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Satellite images appear to show the smoldering remains of a rocket at an Iranian space center that was to conduct a U.S.-criticized satellite launch.

The satellite pictures were taken Thursday morning of the Imam Khomeini Space Center in Iran’s Semnan province.

The photos show black smoke and part of a painted launch pad apparently scorched away.

David Schmerler, a senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, told The Associated Press: “Whatever happened there, it blew up and you’re looking at the smoldering remains of what used to be there.”

NPR first reported on the satellite images.

Iran was to launch the Nahid-1 satellite in the coming days. There had been activity at the space center in recent days.

There was no immediate reaction from Iran.

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