Pakistan to launch satellite next year
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will launch its first indigenously developed communications satellite on August 14, 2011, from a facility in China and its life span will be 15 years.
According to sources in Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco), the satellite would be launched at a longitude of 38 degrees in geostationary orbit on the equatorial plane at an altitude of 36,000km above the earth's surface.
Paksat-1R will carry a communications payload to facilitate the introduction of a range of new services, including broadband internet, digital TV distribution/broadcasting, remote/rural telephony, emergency communications, teleeducation and tele-medicine.
The contract for Pakistan Communication Satellite (Paksat-1R) was signed between Suparco and China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), a Chinese firm, on October 15, 2008, official sources maintained.
Work on the execution of the contract began soon after and is
progressing as scheduled, the sources said, adding that the contract involved various other projects, including infrastructure and therefore it was difficult to invest an exact cost on the satellite itself.
Official sources further said that at least two new satellites
Paksat-1R and Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS) - would be launched in the near future.
The satellites have been developed with technical and financial assistance of China.
At present, Pakistan has a communications satellite, Paksat-1, in orbit, providing coverage across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and the South Asian subcontinent.
It is being used by TV broadcasters, telecom companies, data and broadband internet service providers and government organizations.
Paksat-1R will replace Paksat-1, a leased satellite, to ensure continuity of service.
In 1990s, Pakistan also operated a small satellite, Badr-A, in low earth orbit. however, the country's modest space programme has been oriented towards remote sensing applications.
Pakistan and China have agreed to enhance strategic coordination, advance pragmatic cooperation and work together to meet challenges in pursuit of common development.
In a joint statement issued after conclusion of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's visit to Pakistan, they declared 2011 as the "Year of ChinaPakistan Friendship", and decided to hold a series of activities in the political, economic, trade, military, cultural, sporting and education fields, to warmly celebrate the 60th anniversary of the estab- lishment of Pak-China diplomatic relations.
They decided to further implement the Framework Agreement between SUPARCO and China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Deepening Cooperation in Space Science and Technology.
In this context, they expressed satisfaction on their joint collaboration in fabrication and launching of satellites. When contacted, Paksat GM Col. Muhammad Latif confirmed that Pakistan's new communication satellite would be launched in 2011. -App
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