ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday morning launched its indigenously developed twin-satellite vehicle into space, ushering a new era in space technology.
The satellite is purely for civilian purposes and would help record data for mapping, studying environmental issues, hunting of natural resources, minerals and water and also help issue warnings for natural disasters and environmental hazards.
The Remote Sensing Satellite-1 (PRSS-1) was launched at 0857 hours (PST) by LM-2C/SMA launch vehicle from Jiuquan Satellite Center, China. PakTES-1A is an indigenously developed 285 kg remote sensing satellite of Pakistan. It was launched at 610 km sun-synchronous orbit.
Historic video of launch of Pakistan’s first civilian communication satellite built entirely in Pakistan by SUPARCO engineers. Test was conducted in China, due to their satellite launch capabilities. 🇵🇰 Zindabad! pic.twitter.com/FuIJQT8RTm
— PTV News (@PTVNewsOfficial) July 9, 2018
The satellite would help the country gather Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) data for the development of early warning systems against natural calamities and disasters, aid in ocean and glacier mapping. The satellite would be useful for three years and would operate in sun-synchronous orbit in the space.
The 1,200 kg PRSS-1 satellite will operate at an altitude of 640 km from surface of the earth which would enable Pakistan to meet its imagery requirements in the areas of land mapping, agriculture classification and assessment, urban and rural planning, environmental monitoring, natural disaster management and water resource management for socio-economic development of the country.
Another flagship satellite, Pakistan Technology Evaluation Satellite-1A (PakTES-1A), is also indigenously designed and developed by SUPARCO’s engineers. It was also co-launched with PRSS-1 by the same launch vehicle.
PakTES-1A is a 285 kg satellite equipped with an optical payload commensurate with national needs. It has a design life of three years and will operate at an altitude of 610 km.
Briefing the media persons on the launching of the twin satellite, Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said that the successful implementation of PRSS-1 and PakTES-1A projects has further strengthened the space cooperation between Pakistan and China and paves the way for future collaborations.
The satellite launch would not only enable Pakistan to meet its growing needs in all civilian purposes but would also help acquire data on various geographic and environment purposes, said Dr Faisal.
Lauding the services of the country’s scientists linked to SUPARCO, Dr Faisal said that the youth may join SUPARCO and excel in the scientific field.
“We can not only meet our own needs but we may also offer data collection services to other countries. We will be mapping data on rains, droughts, underground water, glaciers melting and mapping sea water intrusion and other fields,” he added.
He said that the federal government had approved National Space Programme in year 2017 which had been useful in furthering the space sciences programme, weather assessment and navigation systems in Pakistan.
“This is a purely indigenous satellite programme and both satellites have been produced and assembled by our scientists in Pakistan. Since we lacked launching system, the satellite was launched at a facility of Pakistan’s all-weather friend China. We are indebted to the Chinese government for this gracious gesture,” he added.
The president and prime minister of Pakistan have congratulated the nation on this historic event and appreciated SUPARCO’s scientists and engineers for their technical excellence and untiring efforts.
The prime minister assured the nation and SUPARCO of complete support for further advancement in space technology.