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Pakistan to launch remote sensing satellite system

Pakistan plans to launch a self-controlled Remote Sensing Satellite System (RSSS) at a cost of Rs19.3 billion to ensure strategic and unconditional supply of satellite remote sensing data for any part of the globe over the year. According to recent reports the project will be executed by the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) over a period of six years. President Gen Pervez Musharraf has approved the project in principle.

The project will require another recurring expenditure of about Rs150 million per year and overall working expenses of about Rs1.15 billion. The President, has directed Suparco to develop the capability to make and launch different types of satellites, specially, communications, remote sensing and weather satellites. In the President’s view Pakistan’s space programme must contribute in the areas of mass education, information technology, communications, agriculture, mineral development, mapping and geographic information system, atmospheric sciences, environment and pollution monitoring and in various areas of national security.

On the completion of the project, high resolution satellite images will be available for national defence and security in any critical time. They will also enable universities and non-profit organisations to obtain satellite remote sensing data and carry out analysis for other application areas. The project will help Pakistani engineers acquire comprehensive know-how and technology transfer. Thus, it will be a vital support for future in-house Pakistan remote sensing satellites of world standards to meet demands of enhanced capabilities.