Air Platforms

Trump confirms explosion on Iranian satellite launch pad

05 September 2019

A rocket exploded on one of the launch pads at Iran's Imam Khomeini Space Centre in Semnan province, a high-resolution satellite image released by US President Donald Trump on 30 August showed.

The image appeared to be a photograph of an intelligence briefing and showed scorch marks and a damaged launcher for a Safir satellite launch vehicle (SLV) on the pad.

"The United States of America was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran," Trump tweeted.

Analysts identified the image as one taken by USA-224, a classified KH-11 Evolved Enhanced Crystal reconnaissance satellite, on the basis that the shadows showed it was taken between 0900 h and 1000 h GMT on 29 August.

Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at

(152 of 545 words)