BEIJING, AUG 8 (APP): Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, Masood Khan has said that Pakistan’s new communication satellite—PakSat-1R, is important for the country for many reasons. “It is a symbol of Pakistan-China cooperation in the area of space science and technology. It is the first of the kind to be launched by China and Pakistan. Therefore it establishes a new platform, and it marks a new beginning” said Ambassador Khan in an interview with China News Agency on the occasion of launch of PakSat-1R from China. The use of satellite would bring direct benefits to Pakistan’s economy, Khan said adding that it would refine and enhance country’s capabilities for the use of broadband Internet, digital broadcasting, mobile telephony, and disaster prevention and management. All these capabilities will enable Pakistan to focus more sharply on social development, especially on education and health sectors, he said.
The Pakistan Communication Satellite—PakSat-1R, is due to be launched in space from Chinese satellite launching site located at Xichang city during the second week of current month, depending on weather conditions. It will replace Paksat-1.
Ambassador Khan said “As we accomplished this goal of launching PakSat-1R, we will swiftly move on to expand our collaboration with China in related fields of space science and technology”.
The launching of the satellite, he said coincides with the celebrations of 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China.
Masood Khan said Pakistan and China are moving into the higher stages of aerospace cooperation. Remote sensing satellite is one such area. This satellite will cover crop monitoring, weather forecasting, urban planning, disaster preparedness and response, earth observation, and oceanography. These applications will have a direct impact on agriculture, industry and services sectors of Pakistan, vital for economy.
Ambassador Khan said last year Pakistan was hit by massive floods which caused large scale devastation across the country. It was at that time that the country fully realized the importance of a remote sensing satellite.
In the long term, he said we also want to cooperate with China on satellite designs to develop Pakistan’s indigenous capability.
He expressed Pakistan’s desire to participate in China’s Manned Space as well Deep Space Exploration programmes.
He, however regarded it as something for the future. “It is our desire that the first non-Chinese astronaut to travel on board a Chinese spaceflight is a Pakistani”.
Referring to the advancement made by China in space technology, Ambassador Khan said that China is constantly forging ahead at a brisk pace. It has made extraordinary strides into space science and technology as well as aerospace industry.
Ambassador Khan said China’s space technology industrial base is expanding.Shenzhou 7, the third manned spaceflight has established a new threshold for China.
He, however said that China is not sitting on its laurels. It is constantly moving forward. It has already planned Shenzhou 8 which will be docked with Tiangong 1 space module. Tiangong-1 will place the first portion of China’s planned space laboratory in orbit. This will be a breakthrough. The docking of Shenzhou 8 and Tiangong 1 is expected to be followed by Shenzhou 9. The Beidou is yet another technological achievement as China can launch and operate complex systems in space.
These are all new frontiers that China is conquering, he remarked.
The people of Pakistan, Ambassador Khan said, are proud of these scientific achievements of China.