ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s first Communications Satellite PAKSAT-1R, as a part of Pakistan’s Space Programme-2040, was launched on Thursday at 2117 hours on board China’s Satellite Launch Vehicle from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre.Besides others, launch was witnessed by Secretary Defence Lt Gen Syed Athar Ali ®, Secretary Foreign Affairs, Salman Bashir, Director General, Strategic Plans Division Lt Gen Khalid Ahmed Kidwai ® and Ambassador of Pakistan to China, Muhammad Masood Khan, said a press release issued here.PAKSAT-1R has a total of 30 transponders, 12 in C-band and 18 in Ku-band. The satellite will be deployed at 380E in the Geo-stationary orbit and it will replace the existing satellite PAKSAT-1.
PAKSAT-1R has a design life of 15 years and will provide TV broadcasting, Internet and data communication services across South and Central Asia, Eastern Europe, East Africa and the Far East. This satellite now enables extending of communication services to all areas of Pakistan. It may be recalled that the National Command Authority (NCA) recently approved Pakistan’s Space Programme-2040 during its meeting at the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) on 14 July 2011. Earlier, the contract for the development of PAKSAT-1R was signed between Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) in October 2008 during the visit of the President of Pakistan to China.
Pakistani engineers have worked closely with their Chinese counterparts during all stages of development of the satellite in China. Some experimental units developed at SUPARCO have also been integrated on the satellite for technology evaluation.China and Pakistan have enjoyed more than 20 years of cooperation in Space Science, Technology and Applications.The launch of Paksat-1R Satellite is a major milestone for both countries towards strengthening of this cooperation. SUPARCO will continue its efforts for launching of other satellites including Remote Sensing Satellites, to ensure that the space technology applications fully contribute to socio-economic development and national security in Pakistan. – APP