Argentina succesfully launched its research rocket in the city of Chamical, in La Rioja province, 880 km northwest of the capital | EPA
Argentina has successfully launched a research rocket as part of its space programme, the defence ministry said.
The rocket was "launched through the joint efforts of the air force, the state-owned military manufacturing company, universities and companies related to the field", Defence Minister Agustin Rossi said Friday.
The launch took place Wednesday in the city of Chamical, in La Rioja province, 880 km northwest of the capital, Xinhua reported.
"This launch is another step toward the recovery of scientific-technological capabilities for defence," Rossi said.
Describing the launch as "a milestone", the minister said: "We have recovered a capability that is of the utmost importance to us."
Argentina's Air Force said the rocket is expected to reach a maximum speed of 3,978 km per hour "until it runs out of fuel", then continue its non-propelled flight, and will later separate from its payload when it reaches an altitude of 49,000 metres.
Argentina has launched three rockets in five years after a 30-year suspension of research and development, according to Rossi.
The first one was launched in 2009 from Serrezuela, province of Cordoba, and the second one was launched in 2011, also in Chamical.
Argentina is expected to launch a Gradicom III rocket in 2014.