Showing another sign of true friendship, China is helping Pakistan to launch 2 remote sensing satellites into a low orbit under a joint venture. The Chinese Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALVT) is going to send the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1) and another experimental satellite along with its own Oceanographic satellite in June this year.
This will be the first international commercial launch for the Chinese rocket Long March-2C rocket after 18 years since 1999. Currently, Pakistan has only one satellite in orbit, the PakSat-1R, launched in 2011, which is used for communication and data broadcasting. The PSSR-1 is a dual-purpose Earth observation and optical satellite. Previously, Pakistan has had to spend millions of rupees to get multi-spectral images from other countries which had a negative effect on it’s economy.
With the PSSR-1, Pakistan will be able to save millions of rupees and according to the Chairman of Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, Qaiser Anees Khurram;
Remote sensing satellite will have multiple benefits and practical application, including agriculture, disaster management, urban planning, forestry, water management, weather, forecast and other areas.
This satellite will provide the high resolution multi-spectral images which Pakistan needs in order to improve its economy, environment and agriculture. It will also be used to monitor the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It will also help in the navigation system which is not too useful now-a-days due to the unavailability of satellites. Despite the fact that the agreement was signed in 2016, the launch date had not been released. Even now, just the launch month has been revealed.
The benefits of the remote sensing satellite are huge, saving resources, stimulating market growth and having a positive impact on Pakistan’s economy and improving military tactics. Despite the fact that this collaboration is a gesture of the Pak-China friendship, there is no doubt that Pakistan needs to move forward in the astronautical engineering in order to be truly independent.