Scientists expect PakSat MM-1 services from August

In Tech
June 03, 2024


The newly-lunched Pakistani satellite, PakSat MM-1, would be positioned in a geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometres above Earth and it would start delivery of services in August, scientists associated with the MM-1 project said on Sunday.

PakSat MM-1, Pakistan’s second communication satellite, was launched into the orbit on Thursday from China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC). Dr Khurram Khurshid, Head Electrical Engineering Department at the Institute of Space Technology (IST), said it would provide communication services.

“The satellite will provide communication services like broadband internet, TV broadcasting, media and telecommunication. It … will play an important role in promoting economic activities besides e-commerce and e-governance,” Dr Khurshid said.

The satellite launched by the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) with the support of China under the National Space Programme-2047, is expected to be the stepping stone towards regaining the past glory of launching its first rocket in space in the 1960s.

Read:PAKSAT MM-1 satellite launched to orbit

On July 7, 1962, Pakistan launched the first rocket known as “Rehbar-I” in space, a two staged solid fuel rocket that made the country first in the Islamic world, third in South Asia and 10th in the entire world to launch a vessel into outer space.

However, the country could not keep up with the exemplary initiative taken in 1960s apparently due to lack of political will or paucity of resources – lagging behind in this race. But, now once again it has embarked on this journey to push country forward into modern digital world.

“For now, Pakistan achieved the goal of sending its satellite to space in collaboration with other countries. But, days are not far off when it will send its own independent mission to space” Dr Khurshid said. “Engineers and SUPARCO team are making concerted efforts to materialise this dream,” he added.

Dr Khurshid emphasised the need for educating new generation in space technology traits, its applications and usage for the national development. “The country needs more engineers, technicians and experts in this field.”

The PakSat MM1 satellite project was conceived to meet the country’s growing needs of broad spectrum of communication and connectivity. This project is a hallmark of technological cooperation between China and Pakistan.

Based on advanced communication technologies, the satellite will digitally transform Pakistan by contributing in establishing a sophisticated communication network to meet growing demand of telecom sector, high-speed internet and seamless connectivity.

“This high-power multi-mission satellite will provide communication services in C, Ku, Ka Bands and SBAS services in L Band and various communication services like broadband internet, TV broadcasting, mobile bank hauling and VSAT connectivity,” SUPARCO said in a statement.

Read: Pakistan’s ICUBE-Q satellite successfully enters lunar orbit

”The primary objective of launching PakSat MM-1 satellite is to strengthen Pakistan’s communication infrastructure and broaden the horizons for connectivity, serving the un-served tele-education, e-health/tele-medicine, e-governance and e-commerce,” Dr Usman Iftikhar, MM-1 Project Manager said.

“As communication infrastructure plays a pivotal role in any country’s progress, therefore, we hope this satellite will improve connectivity to the country’s remote areas. This is a communication satellite successfully sent to Geostationary Orbit,” he added.

This advanced satellite, developed by the Pakistani scientists and engineers, marks a major step forward in the nation’s aspirations to enhance connectivity across all regions. After a recent successful lunar mission, the introduction of Paksat MM1 reflects nation’s growing expertise in space technology.

“With its deployment, we hope to address the issues of digital divide in different regions, improve TV broadcasting, cellular phone and broadband service across Pakistan. Its service would start in August,” SUPARCO Director Atiqur Rehman said.

Earlier, Pakistan’s historic lunar mission iCube-Qamar (ICUBE-Q) was launched on May 3 onboard China’s Chang’E6 from Hainan with this satellite mission marking Pakistan’s first lunar exploration effort and a significant milestone for country’s space endeavors.

The iCube-Q was designed and developed by IST Electrical Engineering Department in collaboration with China’s Shanghai University and SUPARCO. Weighing about 7kg, the satellite successfully captured and transmitted its inaugural images from lunar orbit, providing a unique perspective of moon’s surface.

According to SUPARCO, three types of satellites are essential for any country for communication, remote sensing and reconnaissance, and navigation. “What we need is the targeted approach, result oriented policies and conducive environment for our geniuses to flourish,” it added.

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