A multi-purpose small satellite developed by Pakistan, China, Thailand, Bangladesh, Mongolia, South Korea and Iran will be launched in 2006.
Sources said the satellite would be used for scientific experiments and environmental observations for the Asia-Pacific region. This was part of Pakistan’s effort to enhance cooperation with China and other regional countries in developing space technology, sources added.
According to sources, China, Pakistan and other countries had initiated multilateral cooperation in 1992 in space technology and its applications in the Asia-Pacific Region. A substantial breakthrough had been made in the past decade to set up the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organisation (APSCO).
Representatives from 14 nations and a United Nations body had gathered in Beijing recently to discuss the proposed APSCO, which is being designed to promote the peaceful use of space and space applications in the Asia-Pacific region, sources said.
Representatives from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Iran, Malaysia, Mongolia, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, Chile and the UN Economic and Social Council attended the second meeting of the Drafting Group on APSCO Convention. Brazil and some countries outside the Asia-Pacific Region attended the meeting as observers, and it had been agreed that the proposed APSCO would be based in Beijing.
Addressing the ceremony, Luan Enjie, director of the China National Space Administration, said the Chinese government would support the establishment of the organisation, make due contributions and facilitate various aspects in the early years of its founding. China had also decided to launch a communication satellite owned by a Hong Kong-based company into space during the first half of 2005. The satellite was expected to orbit for 13 years and would be responsible for transmitting radio and television signals for China, East Asia, Australia and Hawaii.