Pakistan's Premier Multilingual News Agency

Pakistan’s lunar satellite sends first images from space

Islamabad, 12 May 2024, (GNP): The Institute of Space Technology, (IST) of Pakistan has achieved a significant milestone in astronomical science with the transmission of the first-ever image of the moon by its inaugural satellite mission, iCube-Qamar.

IST also released the image of the lunar orbit earlier today, which was captured and transmitted by the satellite mission.

iCube-Qamar, according to IST, is the first Pakistani satellite to enter the lunar orbit and has completed its rotation in 12 hours.

“The iCube-Qamar will image the lunar orbit from a distance of 200 kilo meters from the surface of the moon,” said IST.

The IST further stated that the signals from iCube-Qamar will be received on Earth after traveling a distance of 360,000 to 400,000 km.

“iCube-Qamar has made three rounds around the moon,” the IST said.

The initial image was received two days after the IST announced the successful deployment of the satellite into orbit on May 8 at 1:14 pm Pakistan time. The scientists described this development as “a great success overall.”

After deployment, the satellite will capture images of specific lunar areas in a meticulously chosen 12-hour elliptical orbit. The iCube-Qamar was launched aboard China’s Chang’e-6 from Hainan, China, on May 3.

Also Read: Pakistan’s first moon satellite successfully enters the lunar orbit

Prior to the satellite’s launch last week, Dr. Khurram mentioned that the Pakistani satellite will capture various images of the moon’s surface, thereby providing Pakistan with its own satellite imagery for research purposes.

The satellite was designed and built by the Islamabad-based Institute of Space Technology (IST) in partnership with China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and Pakistan’s national space agency, Suparco.

The iCube-Qamar orbiter is equipped with two optical cameras specifically designed to capture images of the lunar surface. After undergoing successful qualification and testing, the orbiter was integrated into China’s Chang’e-6 mission, which is the sixth installment in a series of lunar exploration missions.