The Safir (Persian: Messenger) is the name of the first Iranian expendable launch vehicle that is able to place a satellite in orbit. A sub-orbital test flight, named Kavoshgar-1 (Persian: کاوشگر ۱, Explorer-1), was conducted on February 4, 2008, as announced by state-run television. A launch on February 25, 2007, may also have been of the same type. The first flights carried instruments to measure the higher atmosphere. The rocket launched on February 4, 2008 was a liquid propellant driven rocket, probably a derivative of the Shahab-3, that reached an altitude of 200-250 km in space, and successfully returned science data according to the Iranian News Agency.
On February 19, 2008, Iran offered new information about the rocket and announced that Kavoshgar-1 used a two staged rocket. The first stage separated after 100 seconds and returned to earth with the help of a parachute. The second stage continued its ascent to the altitude of 200 kilometres. However it was not intended to reach orbital velocity.
Earlier reports by the Iranian News Agency suggested that Kavoshgar-1 used a three staged rocket with the first stage separating after 90 seconds and the rocket reaching an orbit between 200 and 250 kilometres.
The successful development and launch of a sounding-space-rocket was already announced a year earlier, on February 25, 2007. It is unknown if the Sounding Rocket launched on February 25, 2007, and the rocket launched on February 4, 2008, are of the same type.
Iran announced plans to send two more rockets into space during summer 2008 and four more satellites until 2010.
On 17 August 2008, Iranian officials reported that a Safir was launched successfully without a payload, in preparation for the launch of Iran's first indigenously launched satellite, Omid.. Reza Taghizadeh, head of the Iranian Aerospace Organization, told state television "The Safir (Ambassador) satellite carrier was launched today and for the first time we successfully launched a dummy satellite into orbit". As it was announced by Iran, a dummy satellite was put into a 650 km LEO passing over Iran six times every 24 hours. International confirmation of this fact is expected.