Pakistan launches its second communication satellite PAKSAT MM-1 into space
KARACHI: (Web Desk) Pakistan has launched its second communication satellite named PAKSAT MM-1 from China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC) to further enhance the South Asian nation’s digital communication infrastructure.

Having the latest communication equipment, the five-ton satellite will deploy at an altitude of 36,000 km above the Earth.

The Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) spokesperson said, “The satellite is expected to contribute to the establishment of a sophisticated communication network and help meet the growing demands of the telecom sector.”

It is likely to take three to four days to stabilise in its designated orbit around the Earth, Suparco spokesperson added.

The official added, “Its advanced capabilities will address the increasing demand for high-speed internet and seamless connectivity. This high-power multi-mission satellite will provide communication services in C, Ku, Ka Bands and SBAS services in L Band.”

On the successful launch of the country’s second communication satellite, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif congratulated the nation, saying, "I, along with the entire nation, am proud of our scientists achievement.”

He maintained, “It will prove to be a stepping stone in the transformation of the country into digital Pakistan. It will provide various communication services like broadband internet, TV broadcasting, mobile bank hauling, and VSAT connectivity.”

The second launch follows the historic ICUBE-Q launch on May 3 on board China’s Chang’E6 mission.

After successful entry of Pakistan’s maiden satellite ICUBE-Q into the lunar orbit and reaching the detach point via China’s Chang’e-6 probe, Pakistan had planned to launch another satellite into space on May 30.

The MM1 satellite was designed with the primary purpose of strengthening the communication infrastructure of the country.

It is playing a key role in establishing an advanced communication network that can effectively cater to the increasing demands of the telecom sector.

Recently, the maiden lunar mission has sent the first image of the Moon from space.

A ceremony was held at the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on the success of the ICUBE-Q mission.

A team from the Institute of Space Technology (IST), working on the ICUBE-Q mission, and Pakistan’s ambassador to China attended the ceremony at CNSA.

On May 8, the ICUBE-Qamar (ICUBE-Q) separated from Chang’e 6 and successfully entered its circumlunar orbit, according to Mission Head Dr Khurram Khursheed.

The Chang's-6 successfully performed a near-moon braking procedure before entering the circumlunar orbit at 10:12 a.m. (0212GMT), Xinhua News Agency reported citing a statement by CNSA.

The near-moon braking procedure is a key orbital control for Chang’e-6 during its flight. The braking makes its relative speed lower than the lunar escape velocity so that it can be captured by the moon’s gravity and fly around the moon, according to the agency.

On May 3, Pakistan successfully launched its first-ever lunar orbiter mission ICUBE-Q from the Wenchang Space Launch Site in China’s Hainan province.

The ICUBE-Q was programmed to separate from Chang’e 6 on the fifth day of the mission and orbit the Moon in a low orbit. It was also programmed to capture important images of the Moon’s South Pole while orbiting in the low lunar orbit.