TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran reportedly launched a research rocket Monday and unveiled its first major space centre, which it says will be used to launch research satellites.
The country's state-run television reports the rocket is the first Iran has launched `into space.'
The report showed live images of the event at the space centre, with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issuing the launch order.
But it did not specify the altitude reached by the rocket. Space is considered to begin at 100 kilometres above ground.
Before the launch, Ahmadinejad opened the space centre, which, according to the television report, includes an underground control station and space launch pad.
Some Western experts have suggested Iran's space program could be a cover to develop its ballistic missiles, at a time when the U.S. and others are accusing Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons.