What's new

Pakistan Space and Satellite Developments

JamD

SENIOR MEMBER
Mar 26, 2015
2,086
94
7,655
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
Above the blue sky, into the blackness of space
Adnan Rehmat
August 4, 2019

Even though relatively late in the race to space, Islamabad will still do well to send the first Pakistani into space by 2022


568220_960348_tns.jpg


The government has just announced plans to send the first Pakistani to space by 2022. This will entail a process of selection and shortlisting of potential candidates who will then undergo a rigorous training regime before the first Pakistani will stream through and above the blue sky into the blackness of space - the final frontier that humans must conquer to engineer an interstellar future for survival of the specie.

The announcement, made by Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, is heartily welcome for several reasons. The most important is that it signals an excellent step forward in according state-level priority to ambitious scientific progress not seen since the country’s nuclear ambitions in the last century that eventually got Pakistan the membership of a small group of nations.

That Pakistan has not been able to go beyond military purposes and employ this impressive technological capability for scientific development and commercial purposes, like India in our neighbourhood for instance, is an expensive mistake. The humanisation - putting people at the heart of technology - of our space programme should help make some amends and shift Pakistan in that direction although it is going to be a long and hard road.

Another good reason for Pakistan for pursuing a future in space is that space is the future. It’s where anyone interested in the next generation of technological development is focused and while interest is growing, it is still a small band of countries that are in the lead for expansion into space exploration for the next major phase in business and technological evolution of the world. Efforts are in a crescendo for a race back to the Moon and simultaneously onwards to Mars. These will graduate over the next few decades into an expansion into the remaining solar system.

Even though already relatively late in the race to space, Islamabad will still do well to send the first Pakistani into space. What are the technicalities the first Pakistani in space will have to qualify for and transcend? What will be the logistics of the feat? Globally, it is the Switzerland-based Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) that stewards the definitions regarding spaceflight and maintains the definitive global records for flights into space, besides a host of other high-altitude aviation activities. The FAI instituted the ‘Yuri Gagarin Gold Medal’ in 1968, in recognition of the Soviet cosmonaut recognised as the first human into space the same year. It is awarded for important astronautic firsts and feats.

For Pakistan to be recognised as a country whose citizens may become an astronaut, the future first Pakistani into space will have to cross the ‘Karman Line’ that defines the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. Named after a Hungarian aeronautics engineer and physicist, the Karman Line is the altitude of exactly 100km (62 miles or 330,000 feet) above Earth’s mean sea level.

As of start of 2019, a total of 553 humans from a total of 37 countries have crossed the Karman Line and are classified as astronauts. Of these 337 have been Americans (61 percent) and 121 Russians (22 percent). A total of 14 countries have basic space launch capabilities while nine have advanced capabilities of sending unmanned rockets, probes or missiles into space - including Russia, US, France, Japan, China, India, Israel, Iran and North Korea. Only three countries - Russia, the US and China - have full technical capabilities to launch manned space vehicles. It is these three countries that have carried astronauts of 36 other countries on their vehicles. Of these, only the US has landed humans (12 of them) on the Moon. China and Russia have now acquired the capability to do so. US, Russia, China and India plan separate manned missions to Moon or Mars by 2035. Other than the US and Russia, only China, India and Israel have landed probes on the Moon. China and India have also successfully sent vehicles in Martian orbit.

The first astronaut from South Asia was an Indian, Rakesh Sharma. He went to space onboard a Soyuz spacecraft of Intercosmos, the Russian space agency, in 1984.

He was followed by Abdul Ahad Mohmand of Afghanistan, also onboard a Soyuz in 1988, nominated by the government of President Najeebullah Ahmadzai, before the Islamist Mujahideen seized Kabul five years later. The third South Asian into space was the second Indian and the first Indian woman, Kalpana Chawla. She was an American citizen, aboard the Challenger space shuttle in 2003. She died in the same shuttle when it blew up. If all goes well a Pakistani will become the sixth South Asian in space in 2022 because the Indian Space Research organization (ISRO) plans to send a two-person crew into space in 2021. A total of 10 Muslims from as many countries have become astronauts.

The first Pakistani in space will be the result of a close collaboration between the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco), the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) whose pilots will form the astronaut candidates, and the China National Space Administration (CNSC).
This is a stroke of luck that Pakistan needs to utilize fully to create and expand its orbital footprint to include planetary exploration -- as China is in a close race to rival, if not surpass, American superiority in space exploration. Russia, a space giant in its own right, is cash-strapped, and will not be able to compete with China in the long haul.

Fawad-Ch-300x180.jpg

Fawad Chudhry: Spearheading the space plan-2022.

China is Pakistan’s natural entryway into space because it has a long-term ambitious space plan that not only focuses on expansion into the broader solar system for commercial purposes but also reportedly interstellar and galactic ambitions for scientific purposes, with a massive allied infrastructure to support it. The infrastructure comprises seven dedicated cities and nearly a million scientists for space and allied sciences. China has so far sent a total of 11 ‘tikonauts’ (as the astronauts are called in Chinese) in space and maintains a small space station in orbit, Tiangong, which it is expanding to allow it to, starting in late 2020, maintain a permanent manned mission presence. It also has in the pipeline plans for a Moon base and a manned mission to land on Mars.

This is Pakistan’s chance to make up for lost opportunities and time. Pakistan was one of the first few countries in the world to launch a space programme and Suparco in 1961. In 1962, it developed and deployed its first indigenous rocket Rehbar-1 becoming just the third country in Asia and only the tenth in the world with this capability, following it up with an advanced version, Rehbar-2 the same year.

However, it lost interest in pursuing the space programme with full vigour until neighbouring India tested a nuclear device in 1974 necessitating a nuclear weapons programme of its own. In 1990, Pakistan developed its first indigenous communications satellite Badar-1 and, in 2001, an advanced version of it, Badar-2.

While not lacking in commitment, unlike neighbouring India, Pakistan has not consistently employed the necessarily considerable resources to find a place in the list of the very few countries with space launch vehicle (SLV) capabilities that can, among other things, launch satellites and other manned vehicles. It certainly has the requisite basic technical infrastructure, manpower and capabilities. And it is already in the select club of seven countries with a military nuclear programme with demonstrated capacity to manufacture and deliver multiple-stage inter-continental ballistic missiles, which also require basic space launch mechanisms.

Currently Suparco operates space satellites of its own and has recoverable rocket operations capability. What it doesn’t have currently is a manned space programme although finally this seems to be a priority. In 2018, Pakistan set in motion a flurry of initiatives that aim at nudging the country into an expansive overall scientific endeavour and catalysing its space programme into the global big league. In its 2018 budget, the government enhanced the Suparco budget by a third to $41 million. This includes three new initiatives - a $11.7 million multi-mission satellite (PakSat-MM1); a $8.7 million programme to establish space centres in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad; a $1.7 million Space Application Research Centre in Karachi; a $7.2 million space satellite PAKTES-1A, which was launched in August 2018; and the testing and operationalisation of a four-stage indigenous SLV. Pakistan has already capacitated three of the four stages of its SLV.

To augment its space and allied sciences programmes, Pakistan in April 2018 launched four major centres of excellence in cutting-edge technologies - the first was National Centre for Artificial Intelligence (NCAI) as part of a three-year national Artificial Intelligence (AI) programme with $11 million for an entry into the Industry 4.0 era with advanced robotics and Deep Learning platforms. The second was the National Centre of Robotics and Automation (NCRA) built as a consortium of 12 technology universities and 45 advanced learning labs, grouping over 200 PhD scientists and technologists in the centre. The third was the National Centre for Cyber Security (NCCS) and the fourth, the National Centre for Cloud Computing and Big Data (NCBD). These centres have been designed with the mission to accelerate technological development through scaling up availability of the critical mass of allied scientific community to advance the national space and allied sciences programmes.

These dramatically expanding initiatives and budgets indicate that Pakistan is cognizant of the formidable advantages over it that India has for both commercial and military applications of its space programme. For Pakistan to align its military and economic ambitions with its space technological capacities, it will have to invest in expanding the base of its space programme and match it with requisite resources and manpower. Whether or not Pakistan wants to establish a permanent cadre of astronauts and send them first to space and then to the Moon, Mars and beyond, by signalling its intent to send the first Pakistani into space in 2022 it has started a journey to build capacity to climb into the orbit of the Pale Blue Dot that is our home planet.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/tns/detail/568220-blue-sky-blackness-space


4 stages???? Maybe they're referring to an apogee kick motor or something. 4 sounds like overkill. Or maybe it's because of the small size of our liquid fuel engines (whatever design they are). I am guessing derived from the Ghauri engines. Of course I'm just guessing.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

SENIOR MEMBER
Aug 22, 2016
6,388
87
25,894
Country
Pakistan
Location
Canada
4 stages???? Maybe they're referring to an apogee kick motor or something. 4 sounds like overkill. Or maybe it's because of the small size of our liquid fuel engines (whatever design they are). I am guessing derived from the Ghauri engines. Of course I'm just guessing.
This is going to sound far-fetched, but is there any chance we will completely separate space development from security? So, in other words, establish a firewall between SLVs and BMs so that the former can benefit from foreign expertise and technical cooperation?

I understand such cooperation will be limited due to the trust deficit between us and the world, but still, there's little sense in 'securitizing' SUPARCO or space. If we create an institutional and structural gap, it might make it easier for at least China, Ukraine, South Africa, etc to work with us. It might also allow us to commercialize space as well via investments, exports, joint projects, etc.
 

Pakistan Space Agency

SENIOR MEMBER
Apr 22, 2019
5,324
-29
8,113
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
This is going to sound far-fetched, but is there any chance we will completely separate space development from security? So, in other words, establish a firewall between SLVs and BMs so that the former can benefit from foreign expertise and technical cooperation?

I understand such cooperation will be limited due to the trust deficit between us and the world, but still, there's little sense in 'securitizing' SUPARCO or space. If we create an institutional and structural gap, it might make it easier for at least China, Ukraine, South Africa, etc to work with us. It might also allow us to commercialize space as well via investments, exports, joint projects, etc.

Has Pakistan sought help for a civilian space program from anyone? Has anyone offered to work on a Pakistani civilian program?

Personally, I don't know why the military still treats SUPARCO as it's little baby.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

SENIOR MEMBER
Aug 22, 2016
6,388
87
25,894
Country
Pakistan
Location
Canada
Has Pakistan sought help for a civilian space program from anyone? Has anyone offered to work on a Pakistani civilian program?

Personally, I don't know why the military still treats SUPARCO as it's little baby.
We won't get any overseas help for space (aside from China) unless we join the MTCR and WA. However, if you reduce enough of the risk (of proliferation, unsanctioned military use, etc), some MTCR/WA states might be able to get away with some collaboration (within boundaries).
 

JamD

SENIOR MEMBER
Mar 26, 2015
2,086
94
7,655
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
This is going to sound far-fetched, but is there any chance we will completely separate space development from security? So, in other words, establish a firewall between SLVs and BMs so that the former can benefit from foreign expertise and technical cooperation?

I understand such cooperation will be limited due to the trust deficit between us and the world, but still, there's little sense in 'securitizing' SUPARCO or space. If we create an institutional and structural gap, it might make it easier for at least China, Ukraine, South Africa, etc to work with us. It might also allow us to commercialize space as well via investments, exports, joint projects, etc.

Considering how tightly the military holds on to everything in this country I see very little chance of this ever happening lol. SUPARCO is a great place to dump mostly incompetent serving and retd officers.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

SENIOR MEMBER
Aug 22, 2016
6,388
87
25,894
Country
Pakistan
Location
Canada
Considering how tightly the military holds on to everything in this country I see very little chance of this ever happening lol. SUPARCO is a great place to dump mostly incompetent serving and retd officers.
Lol so basically it looks like PAC, NESCOM, etc are going to end up doing more space work than SUPARCO iteself.
 

JamD

SENIOR MEMBER
Mar 26, 2015
2,086
94
7,655
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
Lol so basically it looks like PAC, NESCOM, etc are going to end up doing more space work than SUPARCO iteself.
I would wager on no one doing space work but that's just me. That being said I don't think anyone besides KRL and SUPARCO has any experience with liquid fuel rocket engines (which are usually used in SLVs). There is/was an entire lab at IST manned by ex-KRL professors working especially on liquid engines for SLVs but I wouldn't hold my breath on them producing anything super significant.

Thanks for these. I am not sure how official the first one is but if it is, it would suggest Pakistani is looking to go down a solid rocket SLV basing it off the shaheen program. Not sure if that's a model that has room for growing in the future. It would also explain the 4 stages. For a first attempt I think it is ok but a serious SLV program needs a serious liquid rocket engine program.
 

Pakistan Space Agency

SENIOR MEMBER
Apr 22, 2019
5,324
-29
8,113
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
Pakistan have a Space Launch Vehicle !
2017, January 24 -- Pakistan has reported the test-launch of a new missile called "Ababeel". The published images documented that is a Shaheen-III missile, on which was added a solid third stage. A fourth stage (space tug) is likely.
As a result, Pakistan now has a SLV for the transport of orbital payloads. The Ababeel (Taimoor) is very similar to the Chinese Kuaizhou-1A. It is composed of a Shaheen-III with the two upper stages of the KZ-1A. The performance of the Taimoor corresponds approximately to the Israeli Shavit-2.

2018, January 30 -- Allegedly on this day a second launch has been made, which have failed.

winder_lg.jpg

The fairing has a white color !

http://www.b14643.de/Spacerockets_1/Rest_World/Taimoor/Description/Frame.htm
 

Pakistan Space Agency

SENIOR MEMBER
Apr 22, 2019
5,324
-29
8,113
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
'Moth to a flame': Pakistan names a sun-like star and its exoplanet

5e229d3ff0599.jpg


180 light-years away from us, an exoplanet called 'Perwana', orbits around 'Shama', its star.

Salman Hameed
January 18, 2020


There is a planet orbiting a star about 180 light-years from Earth. We don’t know if there are any beings that populate this planet. But the inhabitants of Earth now officially recognise this planet as 'Perwana', and its parent star with the moth’s eternal love of the flame, 'Shama'.

Shama, an Urdu word which means a candle or a lamp that burns is often used with Perwana, a butterfly or a moth. Together, they signify 'a moth to a flame': to be irresistibly and dangerously attracted to something or someone.

Perwana’s eternal love for the flame is a beautiful and well-known motif in Urdu literature. Poets believe that true lovers are like these moths who die in the flame of a beloved's love. Allama Iqbal famously emphasised the humility of the little insect in the face of the light in Shama aur Perwana:

Perwana aur zauq-i-tamashae roshneeKeera zara sa for tamannae roshnee

The moth and the taste for the sight of lightThis small insect and its longing for light


This motif of shama and perwana are now resonated in deep space as well.

Naming celestial bodies

The names of astronomical objects are officially recognised only by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). So if you have bought a star name from a company, you have been scammed.

IAU was formed in 1919 and to celebrate its 100 years, it provided an opportunity for countries around the world to name exoplanets and their stars. For example, Iran named its star and its exoplanet, Kaveh and Kavian, respectively, after the story of one of the heroes of Ferdowsi’s 10th-century epic, Shahnameh.

Sri Lanka named its star 'Sāmaya', meaning peace in the Sinhalese language, and its planet, 'Samagiya', signifying unity.

Pakistan’s names are 'Shama' for the star and 'Perwana' for its planet.

Discovering Shama and Perwana

With a growing interest in astronomy, we have seen the cropping up of astronomy societies in all major Pakistani cities and they regularly provide opportunities for stargazing to those who have not looked at the night sky with a telescope.

In the case of Shama and Perwana, a national committee that included representatives of the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) as well as several astronomers solicited names from the general public and got 60 excellent proposals (I was also part of the committee). The final names of Shama for the star and Perwana for its planet were suggested by Ahmed Noor-e-Alam and Wajeeha Shakeel.


5e17114aa3252.png

International Astronomical Union recognised “Shama” and Perwana” as new names for the star HD99109 and its planet HD99109b. — Courtesy: nameexoworlds.iau.org/pakistan

Before the intervention of Urdu poetry, the star was only known through its dry catalogue name, HD99109b. The little ‘b’ denoted that it is a planet around the star HD99109. The parent star, now known as Shama, is slightly smaller than our Sun and so far, we know of only one planet orbiting around it.

It is located in the direction of the constellation, Leo, but is too faint to be seen with the naked eye.

Shama is over 10 billion years old and is expected to live at least for another 10 billion years. By comparison, our Sun will run out its fuel in 5 billion years.

5e1c4cc55d58f.png


Perwana, on the other hand, is not like the Earth. It is 160 times more massive than our home planet (or about half the mass of Jupiter) and is likely to be made mostly of gases. It takes 493 days for it to go around its star once (compared to the 365 days for Earth).

While it is unlikely that it hosts any life. However, if it has any moons, then they might be a indicator for the possibility of life.

At the end of Shama’s life, it will be left as a dense core, roughly the size of the Earth, known as a white dwarf.

Unlike the perwana of Urdu literature, the planet Perwana will not burn into Shama, nor will it abandon it. Instead, it will keep on circling its star forever — long after the flame is gone.

Finding planets in the 'wobble of a star'

Astronomers have come up with creative methods to find exoplanets. Some have been found by direct imaging. But most of the planets have been found using one of two methods.

When a planet passes in front of its star, we see a dip in the brightness of the star (an eclipse). We call this the 'eclipsing method'. The bigger the planet, the bigger the dip, and the regularity of the dips would give us an estimate of the planet’s orbit.

For example, a planet with an orbit like the Earth would pass in front of its star every 365 days. This method was most successfully used by the Kepler Space Telescope to find several thousand exoplanets.

However, most of the earliest planets were found by looking at the wobble of a star due to the existence of a planet.

This movement is because the star and the planet (or planets) orbit around a ‘centre of mass’. In our own solar system, most of the mass is in the Sun. The centre of mass, in this case, is still inside the Sun, though not at the centre. This causes a relatively small movement of the Sun around this point.

Pakistan’s exoplanet, Perwana, was discovered using the wobble method. — Courtesy: Kainaat Astronomy in Urdu YouTube channel

Of course, planets move a lot more (hence our birthdays are every 365 days due to Earth’s motion around this ‘centre of mass’). For far-away stars, astronomers cannot see the planets directly but can infer their presence by detecting this small movement of the star.

Looking for a firefly in the floodlight

Perwana is only one of over 4,000 exoplanets detected so far. Astronomers estimate that there are hundreds of billions of planets just in our own galaxy alone, and countless more in the universe. And yet, it has been less than 25 years since the discovery of the first exoplanet around a sun-like star.

You can reasonably ask, what took so long to start discovering planets around other stars?

There are two main reasons for this: First, planets are faint as they mostly reflect the light of their parent star. This makes it difficult to see them even around some of the closest stars.

Secondly, the stars they orbit are much brighter and these planets get lost in the glow. It is like trying to find a jugnoo (a firefly) right next to a floodlight.

But in the meantime, look up at the sky and imagine Perwana orbiting its star, Shama, 180 light-years away from us.

If it has inhabitants, they don’t know that their world has been given a name in a language spoken by humans on a small portion of the Earth called Pakistan.

The writer is an Associate Professor of Integrated Science & Humanities at Hampshire College, USA. He is also an astronomer affiliated with the Five College Astronomy Department (FCAD) in Massachusetts and host shows on YouTube channel, Kainaat Astronomy in Urdu.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1527254/moth-to-a-flame-pakistan-names-a-sun-like-star-and-its-exoplanet
 

Pakistan Space Agency

SENIOR MEMBER
Apr 22, 2019
5,324
-29
8,113
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
Pakistan announces it's first astronaut, Lunar Probe and a Mars Probe: Chairman SUPARCO


C^SS
Centre for Aerospace & Security Studies
Cyber and Space
Opportunities & Challenges For Pakistan

Conference held on Monday 16th December 2019​
 

Pakistan Space Agency

SENIOR MEMBER
Apr 22, 2019
5,324
-29
8,113
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
Pak Rehber Positioning Service
By Fawad Zulfiqar
6 November 2014


be41e4e4964b6802c325af0129b_0_0.jpg

  • GNSS equipment can be divided into two distinct groups based on the level of accuracy they provide:
  • Commercial Grade Equipment
  • Precision Grade Equipment
  • It has two separate constellations.
  • BeiDou-1 consists of three satellites and has been providing coverage for users in China and close proximity.
  • BeiDou-2, to be completed by the end of 2020, is supposed to have 35 satellites and will provide global coverage. Currently 16 satellites are space borne and providing positioning services to users in Asia Pacific Regions.
https://prezi.com/jktqa-j5wwf6/pak-rehber-positioning-service/
 

Pak Nationalist

FULL MEMBER
Jul 4, 2021
971
3
1,305
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
Pakistan & Turkey Ink Joint Satellite Development Cooperation Deal.

Source:
For funds to begin flowing in, the satellite development capability is a requisite. The financial viability of SUPARCO may be improved if it masters this area of operation and begins churning out satellites at regular intervals. I understand that we have in the past developed remote imaging satellites but the frequency of such developments has been low. Being that SUPARCO is a public sector entity, it relies on governmental (financial) input for satellite development which is a resource-intensive venture. Resource constraints are an impediment in the development of satellites at a higher rate. However, if reports circulating in the news are to be believed, Pakistan is looking to increase the investment in its space program manifold from the upcoming budget and build on that incrementally to achieve the objectives it has set out for itself in its space vision 2040.
 
Last edited:
Mar 8, 2021
1,308
0
1,590
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Now SLV program will be on track for sure.
For funds to begin flowing in, the satellite development capability is a requisite. The financial viability of SUPARCO may be improved if it masters this area of operation and begins churning out satellites at regular intervals. I understand that we have in past developed remote imaging satellites in past but the frequency of development has been low. Being that SUPARCO is a public sector entity, it relies on governmental input for satellite development. Resource constraints are an impediment in the development of satellites at a higher rate. However, if reports circulating in the news are to be believed, Pakistan is looking to increase the investment in its space program manifold from the upcoming budget and build on that incrementally to achieve the objectives it has set out for itself in its space vision 2040.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)


Top Bottom