KARACHI, Nov 19: The Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) is striving for the development of its own communication satellites, the high resolution Earth Observation Satellite System (EOSS) and the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV).

This was stated by Suparco Chairman Major-Gen Raza Hussain while speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the World Space Week 2005 celebrations organized at the HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry, University of Karachi auditorium on Saturday.

“Development of EOSS for space-based observations is an essential national requirement to obtain global coverage and frequent revisit”, he said.

The Suparco chairman said that the Pakistan’s first communication satellite PAKSAT (Phase-I), a hired satellite had been relocated and parked at 38 degrees East slot to meet the country’s and regional needs. The satellite is providing services like internet and multimedia, he added.

“The full-fledged communication satellite (Phase-II) will be developed in 3-4 years. Suparco also interacts with other R and D agencies, academic institutions etc”, Mr Hussain informed adding that holding of the World Space Week since 2000 by the Suparco was in fact a manifestation of its international collaboration and coordination efforts.

The chairman further said that the Suparco’s research and application programmes covered satellite communication, satellite meteorology, remote sensing for earth resources and environmental studies, Ionospheric research, geomagnetism, geodesy, astronomy and astrophysics.

He said that this year “Discovery and Imagination” had been chosen as the theme for the World Space Week so as to encourage this event’s programmes on the impacts that astronomical explorations have on the human imagination, Mr Hussain added.

The director-general of the Space Application and Research Suparco, Arshad Hussain Siraj, informed that the main objective of celebrating this event was to increase awareness among the decision makers and the masses about the benefits of the peaceful uses of space and their contribution towards the betterment of the humanity.

He said for natural resources and environment monitoring and other applications, many satellites were operating in the low Earth, near polar and sun-synchronous orbits.

According to Mr Siraj, space technologies had over the past few decades grown exponentially and had matured to such a stage, where their benefits were now available to all.

The vice-chancellor of the University of Karachi, Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, said that the World Space Week being organized by the Suparco aimed at familiarizing the masses with the potential and benefits of the space sciences.

The World Space Week is celebrated internationally from Oct 4-10 every year but this year it is being celebrated in the Muslim countries from Nov 19-25, due to Ramazan falling in October.

On the start of this week, a bus with mobile space education classroom departed from Karachi to visit different schools of the rural Sindh to create awareness about space technology and its applications amongst the students.

In addition to these week-long celebrations, a two-day Space Fair will also be held from Nov 25-27 at the Maritime Museum, Karachi, which will open for public from 3pm to 11pm.

On Nov 20, a walk will be organized at the Sea view, on Nov 21, a space seminar titled “Space sciences and challenges of the 21st century”, will be organized at the KU’s Department of Chemistry auditorium and quiz, painting and model making competitions as well as declamation contests will be held at the Suparco headquarters from Nov 22-24.—PPI

Updated Nov 20, 2005 12:00am

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