China Orbits Paksat-1R on Long March Rocket
[Satellite TODAY 08-18-11] China has launched Pakistan’s first communication satellite Paksat-1R on a Long March 3B/E rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Chinese officials confirmed Aug. 17.
The satellite, manufactured in China, was equipped with 30 transponders to provide Internet, telecommunication, broadcasting and emergency services. Paksat-1R replaces Pakistan’s Paksat-1 satellite, expanding the nation’s satellite footprint to cover Central Asia, Eastern Europe, East Africa and the Far East. Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission will operate the satellite, which also is expected to provide Pakistan with strategic military and cross-border applications.
Pakistan is a member of the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO), which helps its members to share remote sensing data. APSCO’s members include Bangladesh and Iran.
In a statement, Paksat-IR Project Director Muhammad Riaz Suddle said that Pakistan chose to collaborate with China on a space sector initiative because, “it would be less risky for a country like Pakistan, which does not have much experience in the field.”