China launches satellite for Pakistan

Islamabad, Aug 12: Pakistan's PakSat-1R geostationary communications satellite was on Thursday launched into space by a Chinese rocket from a site in southwest China.

The satellite was carried into space by a Long March-3B rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province late tonight.

PakSat-1R was built by scientists and engineers from Pakistan's Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission with technical guidance and financial aid from China National Space Administration.

The launch was witnessed by a group of Pakistani officials, including Strategic Plans Division chief Lt Gen (retired) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, Pakistan's Ambassador to China Masood Khan and SUPARCO chief Maj Gen Ahmed Bilal.

The satellite carries a communication payload to facilitate the launch of a several new services, including broadband Internet, digital television broadcasts, remote and rural telephony, emergency communications, tele-education and tele-medicine.

PakSat-1R is expected to have a lifespan of 15 years and will be operated from SUPARCO's satellite ground stations in Lahore and Karachi.

Speaking after the launch, SPD chief Kidwai expressed his gratitude to the Chinese government for supporting Pakistan in space technology.

He said cooperation between the two countries in space technology will continue to grow in future, enabling Pakistan to reap rich benefits.


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