PAKSAT-1 & PAKSAT-1R Communication Satellites
The originally owned “Palapa”, Indonesia satellite from Hughes after a partial power failure was leased by Pakistan in 2001 and renamed PAKSAT-1. By December 20, 2002 the satellite had been maneuvered several times repositioning it to Pakistan GEO orbit slot of 38 degrees East with zero inclination and has continued a very useful service life for Pakistan ever since. This communications satellite was a considerable boost to Pakistan’s economy. Pakistan is now working on its replacement satellite PAKSAT-1R since PAKSAT-1 is some years from the end of its useful service life.
PAKSAT-1R New Communications Satellite
On October 15, 2008, the Pakistan Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and China Great Wall Industry Corp. (CGWIC) signed a contract for the PakSat-1R satellite in beijing. The PakSat-1R contract is the third communications satellite contract signed by China's space industry with international customers. It is also China's first satellite in-orbit delivery contract signed with an Asian customer.
China launched a communications satellite PAKSAT-1R for Pakistan at 0:15 a.m. Aug 12, 2011 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province. The satellite was carried by a Long March-3B carrier rocket, according to the launch center. It is China's first in-orbit delivery to Asian customers and also the first commercial satellite export to international users this year. According to statistics from the control center, the satellite successfully separated from its carrier rocket and entered geostationary transfer orbit as scheduled, 26 minutes after being launched.
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. PakSat 1R is based on Dong Fang Hong 4 satellite platform manufactured by China Academy of Space Technology. It weighs more than 5 tons, including 30 transponders and three antennas. The satellite can cover cities and regions in South Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Africa and part of Europe. Its service life is 15 years.
Sun Baowei, party secretary of Xichang Satellite Launch Center, said, “The successful launch of the satellite this time is of great importance to China’s aerospace industry. It will deepen our friendship with the Pakistani people. It’s also a gift of goodwill for the upcoming Pakistani Independent Day.”
“This is a historical moment in Pakistan’s history,” Federal Defence Minister Naveed Qamar said while commenting on PAKSAT-1R’s first anniversary since its launch. “I congratulate the entire nation on one-year completion of our satellite’s stay in space,” he added. “Pakistan would work closely with China for the further upgradation of the satellite, besides starting other joint ventures in the space sector,” said the minister, “This is just the beginning. We are eyeing on expanding our space projects with the help of China.”
The PakSat-1R satellite will be positioned at 38 degrees east longitude, and will provide telecommunications and broadcast services to Pakistan. The satellite is based on the three-axis-stabilised DFH-4 satellite platform developed by China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), and is fitted with 12 active C-band and 18 active Ku-band transponders. The service life span of the satellite will be 15 years. PakSat-1R satellite was successfully launched on board the LM-3B launch vehicle developed by CALT from XSLC on Aug.12, 2011; and was delivered in orbit to SUPARCO on Nov.1. On Nov.30,Lahore and Karachi ground stations were also successfully delivered.
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