China launches communication satellite for Pak

China Friday launched a communications satellite PAKSAT-1R for its close ally Pakistan.

Beijing: China Friday launched a
communications satellite PAKSAT-1R for its close ally Pakistan.

It was launched in the early hours today from the
Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China`s Sichuan

The satellite was carried by a Long March-3B carrier
rocket, Chinese official agency Xinhua reported.

PAKSAT-1R will provide a range of services including
broadband Internet, telecom and broadcasting, covering some
regions of Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, and the
eastern Africa, besides a host of defence applications.

The satellite will replace Paksat-1. The life span of
the satellite was stated to be 15 years.

The control room of the Centre said the launch was
successful. The satellite was separated from its carrier
rocket and entered geostationary 26 minutes after being

The Paksat-1R satellite is designed and manufactured by
China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), a subsidiary of
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC),
Pakistan`s official APP news agency reported.

A select group of senior Pakistani officials witnessed
the launch.

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

The satellite will be operated from SUPARCO Satellite
Ground Stations located in Lahore and Karachi.

The satellite has 30 transponders onboard, including 12
C band and 18 Ku band transponders. To meet the coverage
requirements, Paksat-1R has advance communication antennas,
covering South Asian Sub-continent, the Middle East, east
Africa and part of Western European areas and cities.

It is China`s first in-orbit delivery to Asian customers
and also the first commercial satellite export to
international users this year, Xinhua reported.

The contract for the PAKSAT-1R was signed in 2008
between China Great Wall Industry Corporation and the Space
and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission of Pakistan.

China and Pakistan share a long history of space
technology cooperation. Pakistan`s first low-orbit satellite,
BADR-A, was launched by China in 1990 with Long March 2E rocket, it said.
Thanking China for the help, Pakistan`s Foreign
Secretary Salman Bashir said, "the successful launch is yet
another shining illustration of the time-tested friendship
between Pakistan and China and has ushered in a new era of
cooperation in space technology between the two countries".

"This also marks the next step in taking forward
Pakistan’s space Programme "2040", Bashir said.

The launch of PakSat-1R has added a new chapter to the
mutual cooperation between the all-weather allies in the field
of space technology.

Pakistan`s Ambassador to China Masood Khan said
PakSat-1R`s launch as important for his country for many

"It is a symbol of Pakistan-China cooperation in the
area of space technology. It is the first of the kind to be
launched by China and Pakistan. Therefore it establishes a new
platform, and marks a new beginning", he said.

Khan said it is our natural aspiration that a Pakistani
astronaut aboard a Chinese spacecraft flies to the space,
adding that "this is possible because Pakistan and China enjoy
relations of trust and confidence".

Chairman SUPARCO Ahmed Bilal termed the launch as a
"historic event" as it is for the first time that a
commercial, fully capable communication satellite has been
launched in which scientists and engineers of SUPARCO have
worked very closely with the Chinese in all stages of its
design and development.

They have also gained firsthand experience of designing
and manufacturing of Satellite, he said.