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Pakistan successfully launched its first lunar expedition

Islamabad, 3 May 2024, (GNP):Pakistan has achieved a significant milestone as its first moon satellite mission, iCube Qamar, was successfully launched aboard China’s Chang’E6 spacecraft from Hainan, China.

After the launch, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif congratulated the nation and the scientists for successfully initiating the first lunar orbit mission.

The Prime Minister stated that the ICUBE-Q satellite marks Pakistan’s initial venture into space.

He highlighted that Pakistani scientists, engineers, and skilled workers are demonstrating their capabilities in this domain, akin to their proficiency showcased in nuclear technology.

Prime Minister also paid tribute to the core committee of the Institute of Space Technology, led by Dr. Khurram Khurshid, as well as all the members of the SUPARCO team and the participating students, for their contributions to this project.

While congratulating students and scientists on the launch, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar said: “Today’s launch from Hainan in China, is a good example of countries and organisations coming together for space cooperation and shared benefits

Also Read: Pakistan set to launch its historic lunar mission on May 3

Satellite is expected to reach lunar orbit within five days

Dr. Khurram Khurshid, a member of the Core Committee at the Institute of Space Technology (IST), informed that Pakistan’s satellite, being transported by China’s Long March-5 rocket, is anticipated to enter the lunar orbit within five days and will remain in orbit around the moon for a duration of three to six months.

Dr. Khurshid also mentioned that the satellite will capture various images of the moon’s surface, enabling Pakistan to possess its own satellite imagery for research purposes.

The satellite has been jointly designed and developed by the Institute of Space Technology (IST), China’s Shanghai University, and Pakistan’s national space agency, SUPARCO.

The ICUBE-Q orbiter is equipped with two optical cameras specifically designed to capture images of the lunar surface.

After undergoing successful qualification and testing, ICUBE-Q has been seamlessly integrated into the Chang’e6 mission. Chang’e6 represents the sixth installment in China’s series of lunar exploration missions.

Chang’e-6, China’s lunar mission, aims to land on the far side of the moon to collect surface samples for further research upon returning to Earth.

The mission holds significance for Pakistan as it includes the deployment of the Pakistan CubeSat Satellite, iCube-Q, developed by the Institute of Space Technology (IST).

CubeSats are miniature satellites known for their small size and standardized design. They are typically cube-shaped and constructed with modular components that adhere to specific size constraints.

Indeed, CubeSats typically weigh only a few kilograms and are deployed in space for a wide range of purposes.

The primary goal of CubeSats is to support scientific research, technological advancement, and educational initiatives within the realm of space exploration.