China launches two satellites for Pakistan

The information PRSS-1 satellite obtains will be extensively used for environmental protection, disaster management and urban planning for developing national economy

Islamabad: Pakistan launched two satellites into orbit on Monday morning on board a Chinese Long March (LM-2C) rocket, making Pakistan one of the few countries to have its own remote sensing satellite.


Pakistan’s indigenously manufactured satellites, PRSS-1 and PakTES-1A, were launched at 0857 hours (PST) from China’s Jiuquan Satellite Centre, according to the Foreign Office (FO). The satellites were transported to China as the country lacks the infrastructure to launch objects into space.

The space mission was based on the PRSS-1 Satellite System Program Contract signed between Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) and China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC) in April 2016.

President Mammon Hussain and Prime Minister Justice (retd) Nasir-ul-Mulk congratulated the nation on the historic satellite launch and appreciated Suparco’s scientists and engineers for their technical excellence and efforts.

“Our scientists and engineers are the source of pride for the nation and the country” said PM Nasir-ul-Mulk. He assured the nation and Suparco of complete support for further advancement in space technology, terming it vital for socioeconomic development and national security of Pakistan.

One of the satellites launched by Pakistan is a remote sensing satellite (PRSS1) — a dual-purpose Earth observational and optical satellite. With the PRSS1, Pakistan has become one of the few countries to have its own remote sensing satellite in orbit. The 1,200kg satellite PRSS-1 will operate at an altitude of 640km.

The information PRSS-1 satellite obtains will be extensively used for environmental protection, disaster management and urban planning for developing national economy, improving the people’s livelihood and promoting social progress.

“The satellite will enable Pakistan to meet its imagery requirements in the areas of land mapping, agriculture classification and assessment, urban and rural planning, environmental monitoring, natural disaster management and water resource management for socioeconomic development of the country” according to statement issued by FO.

The second flagship satellite launched by Pakistan is Pakistan Technology Evaluation Satellite-1A (PakTES-1A), indigenously designed and developed by Suparco’s engineers to enhance satellite manufacture capabilities in the country. PakTES-1A is a 285kg satellite equipped with an optical payload commensurate with national needs. It has a design life of three years and will operate at an altitude of 610km.

The successful implementation of PRSS-1 and PakTES-1A projects as well as previous in-orbit delivery of PakSat-1R (a communication satellite) has further strengthened the space cooperation between Pakistan and China for future collaborations.

In March 2018, Pakistan’s Suparcosigned a contract with China Great Wall Industry Corporation for the joint-development and launch of the PakSat Multi-Mission (PakSat-MM1) satellite.

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