A ROCKET carrying the communication satellite PakSat-MM1 lifts off from China’s XiChang Sate­llite Launch Centre, on Thursday.—PPI
A ROCKET carrying the communication satellite PakSat-MM1 lifts off from China’s XiChang Sate­llite Launch Centre, on Thursday.—PPI

ISLAMABAD: Pakis­tan launched a multi-mission communication satellite — PakSat-MM1 — to improve internet connectivity, from XiChang Sate­llite Launch Centre in China, the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Resea­rch Commission (Suparco) announced on Thursday.

The achievement, coming on the heels of the cou­ntry’s maiden iCube Qamar lunar mission launched earlier this month, drew congratulatory messages from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other officials for the nation.

Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Mini­ster Ahsan Iqbal witnessed the launch and could be seen capturing the liftoff with his mobile phone.

PakSat-MM1 has been jointly designed and developed by Suparco and the China Great Wall Industry Corporation.

This is a geostationary satellite based on advanced communication technologies that will enhance the satellite-based communication services of Pakistan and fulfil the needs of commercial as well as government users.

“High Throughput System (HTS) technology onboard PakSat-MM1 will substantially boost connectivity to the last mile and will reshape the future of satellite communication in Pakistan. This will be the key to connect the unconnected with the rest of the country,” Suparco said.

“PakSat-MM1 will ensure affordable bandwidth with higher reach within the country. Sectors such as e-commerce, telemedicine, e-governance, Pak SBAS svc and many others will be able to grow,” Suparco said in its statement.

It said PakSat-MM1 would also have Pakistan Space Based Augmentation System (Pak-SBAS) payload which would provide the integrity-based positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services making Pakistan the 11th country in the world that would launch its own SBAS besides the USA, Russia, China, Japan, Europe, India, South Korea, Aus­tralia, Nigeria and Algeria.

“It is also a testament to the longstanding friendship between Pakistan and the Peoples Republic of China,” it said.

Suparco Chairman Mohammad Yousaf Khan appreciated the efforts of engineers from both countries for the successful completion of the project.

With control stations at Lahore and Karachi, the 5-tonne satellite has a design life of 15 years with a coverage area stretching from Pakistan to the Indian Ocean, the Middle East and parts of Africa and Europe.

In Reels posted on social media, Mr Iqbal while congratulating both Pakistani and Chinese engineers said, “The satellite will provide Pakistan with much needed enhanced connectivity — another important milestone in Pakistan’s space programme.”

Soon Pakistan will launch satellites on made-in-Pakistan rockets.”

Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2024

Opinion

On writing

On writing

There is no ceremony or ritual that marks any person as a writer except the simple yet unimaginably significant act of starting to write.

Editorial

A way forward
Updated 17 Jul, 2024

A way forward

Before political leaders inflict more damage, they must give talks a chance.
Export delusions
17 Jul, 2024

Export delusions

THE trade ministry’s ‘plan’ to almost double exports to $60bn over the next three years is nothing more than...
Diversity in UK politics
17 Jul, 2024

Diversity in UK politics

THE recent UK elections have ushered in the most diverse parliament in the nation’s history. Under the leadership...
Banning PTI
Updated 16 Jul, 2024

Banning PTI

It appears that the govt and its backers within the establishment have still not realised that they are in uncharted territory.
Nato at 75
16 Jul, 2024

Nato at 75

EMERGING from the ashes of World War II, and locked in confrontation with the Soviet-led Communist bloc for over ...
Non-stop massacres
16 Jul, 2024

Non-stop massacres

Netanyahu is cunningly pretending to talk peace while mercilessly pounding Gaza. What is clear is that a return to pre-Oct 7 status quo is impossible.