Pakistan’s first indigenous satellite to be launched next month

Pakistan is expected to be amongst the nations with advanced space technology after it launched its first indigenous satellite, named PakTES-1A, as planned.

Weighing approximately 285 kilograms, the satellite will help in research in various areas like geography, climate and weather and also remote sensing, explains Foreign Office spokesperson Dr. Mohammed Faisal. 

Pakistan also displayed its space ambitions by initiating its space programme for the year 2018-19. The plan involves reducing Pakistan’s dependency on foreign satellites for civil and military purposes and to be aware of the Indian side. In the past, Pakistan has been dependent on the US and French satellites to aid its civil and military communications. 

PakTES-1A will be launched at 610-kilometre sun-synchronous orbit in July 2018, according to plans.

Back in 2016, China and Pakistan had planned to build a remote sensing satellite in 2018 and signed an agreement for the same. This was in light of the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Under the CPEC, Pakistan’s Gwardar port will be linked to China’s Xinjiang province. In the process of the CPEC, infrastructure projects worth $ 62 billion have been planned which were $ 46 billion initially.   

The Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, or the SUPARCO, is under process of designing three satellites in collaboration with various universities around the globe. The first satellite will be launched in July this year, which is aimed at using space technologies for natural resources surveying and environmental purposes. 

For the same, Pakistan government has presented a budget of Rs. 4.7 billion ($40.7 million) to the SUPARCO for the year 2018-19, which is more than 34 percent as compared to previous year’s budget.

SUPARCO Chairman Qaiser Anees Khurram said that their first optical satellite is set to be launched in 2018 while the other will be an experimental satellite. Further, he added, “Remote-sensing satellite will have multiple benefits and practical applications, including agriculture, disaster management, urban planning, forestry, water management, weather forecast and other areas.”

The satellites will be a help for Pakistan to become self-reliant and settling the growing tensions with the US. Recently, Pakistan and the US had imposed travel restriction on each other’s diplomats.

Pakistan has been allegedly using the US aid for the war on terror. However, when the US suspended security assistance to Pakistan in January, Pakistan asserted that it was not the case.