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Rediff.com  » News » Pak launches communication satellite, 2nd in a month, with China's help

Pak launches communication satellite, 2nd in a month, with China's help

By Sajjad Hussain
May 31, 2024 00:23 IST
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Pakistan on Thursday launched a multi-mission communication satellite for faster internet connectivity with the help of its all-weather ally China, making it Islamabad's second satellite to be sent into orbit within a month.

Image used for representational purpose only. Photograph: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

The multi-mission communication satellite, also known as PAKSAT MM1, was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China's southwestern province of Sichuan, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

 

The satellite entered its planned orbit, it said.

A statement issued by state-run broadcaster Pakistan Television said the satellite would “provide the best internet facilities across Pakistan” and help improve television broadcasts, cellular phones and broadband services.

It added that the satellite will begin providing service in August, the Dawn newspaper reported.

Congratulating the country on the launch, Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he was hoping that the satellite would help provide the fastest internet facility throughout the country, state-run Associated Press Pakistan reported.

“I am particularly excited about the potential impact of PAKSAT MM1 on internet connectivity across Pakistan. With its state-of-the-art communication technology, this satellite promises to revolutionise our digital landscape and provide the fastest internet facility throughout the country,” the report quoted Sharif as saying.

Sharif said that PAKSAT MM1 would not only enhance the lives of Pakistani citizens but also contribute to the promotion of economic activities, e-commerce, and e-governance.

He said that the launch from China's satellite launch centre was a "testament to the strong collaboration and partnership between the two countries", according to the report.

“It is through such cooperative endeavours that we can propel our nation forward and harness the power of technology for the benefit of our people,” he said.

The prime minister asserted that the satellite's positioning in a geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometres above Earth was an "impressive feat" that showcased the nation's scientific and technological prowess".

In a statement last week, Pakistan's Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) said the satellite's launch was a part of the National Space Programme 2047.

“The PAKSAT MM1 was conceived as a joint venture between Suparco and the Chinese aerospace industry, keeping in sight the growing needs of the country in the broad spectrum of communication and connectivity,” The News International newspaper had reported, citing Suparco's statement.
Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who attended the launch, said soon Pakistan would launch satellites from its own launching pads.

“Day is not far when we will launch our satellites on our own rockets from Pakistan's Space Launch Centre. Congratulations Pakistan,” he said.

On May 3, Pakistan's mini satellite ‘iCube-Qamar' was launched as part of China's Chang'e-6 lunar mission from the Hainan province.

Pakistan has sent at least six assets in space, such as BADR-A, BADR-B, PAKSAT 1-R, PRSS-1, PakTes 1-A and iCube Qamar, the report added.

After the May 3 launch, the iCube-Qamar sent the first-ever images of the moon captured in the lunar orbit following its ascent in space on May 8.

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Sajjad Hussain in Islamabad
Source: PTI© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 
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