Islamabad: Pakistan will launch its first indigenously-developed communication satellite on August 14 next year from a facility in China, an official said today.
The new satellite with a lifespan of 15 years, has been developed with technical and financial assistance from China.
It would be launched on the country`s Independence Day in 2011, Paksat General Manager Col Muhammad Latif told the state-run APP news agency.
According to the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco), the satellite would be put in geostationary orbit on the equatorial plane at an altitude of
36,000 km above the earth`s surface.
Paksat-1R will carry a communications payload to facilitate the introduction of a range of new services, including broadband Internet, digital TV broadcasting, remote and rural telephony, emergency communications, tele-educationand tele-medicine.
The contract for Paksat-1R was signed between Suparco and China Great Wall Industry Corporation in October 2008.
Work on the contract began soon after and it is progressing as scheduled, officials said.
The contract involves several projects, including creation of infrastructure. Official sources said another satellite- Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite - would be launched in the near future.
Both satellites have been developed with technical and financial assistance from China.
Pakistan currently has the Paksat-1 communications satellite in orbit, providing coverage across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia.
It is used by TV broadcasters, telecom companies, data and broadband Internet service providers and government organisations.
Paksat-1R will replace Paksat-1, a leased satellite, to ensure continuity of service.
China and Pakistan recently decided to implement a framework agreement between Suparco and China National Space Administration on deepening cooperation in space science and technology.