- Mar 25, 2011
KARACHI: A hallmark of Pak-China joint venture, Pakistan telecommunication satellite Paksat 1R will be launched on August 14, the Independence Day of Pakistan, which also happens to be the date for the 50th anniversary of SUPARCO, an official said on Monday.
Paksat-1R is being developed in China to replace the currently in-orbit leased satellite Paksat-1.
The timely development and launch of this satellite is important as Paksat-1 is reaching the end of its service life next year. The development of Paksat-1R satellite is progressing according to the schedule and the satellite will be launched as per the plan, an official of the Planning Commission said.
The government of Pakistan realises the significance of this project of national importance and will, therefore, meet its financial obligations and will continue to provide funds to the project, despite several financial constraints it faces.
The Paksat 1R will replace the current telecommunication satellite developed by Hughes Systems, which already has shown signal eclipse of 88 days in a year. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) allocates the satellite place in geostationary orbit on a first-come-first-serve basis. But after allotment of a position, a deadline is needed for a party to launch its satellite in a given time and in the case of failure, the allotment is handed over to other nations or parties who were in queue.
In the 1980s, Pakistan booked eight slots in the orbit.
In mid-90s, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) signed an agreement with Alcatel for a satellite. But in the meantime, a few telecommunication satellite launches failed worldwide and other problems halted the launch of the Pakistani satellite, causing Alcatel to cancel the agreement. Pakistan then also lost its allotted slots in the orbit.
Pakistan bought the Hughes satellite designed for Indonesia and moved it in the occupied slot in December 2002.
The development of Pakistans own satellite is not only important for the capacity building, but for self-reliance purposes, as well in case of an embargo or other hurdles from advance countries as were seen in the past.
The Paksat 1R data and signals will be received by the satellite ground stations located in Karachi and Lahore.