Pakistan wants to explore space technologies for sustainable development

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Islamabad: The hands-on educational opportunities, fascinating demonstrations and interaction with top scientists at a recent conference appealed to several young students and inspired them to pursue careers in science and technology.

“Usually when we think of space science, all that comes to mind are astronauts. But this field is amazing. It offers benefits as endless as space itself in all fields, from health and medicine to transport and computer technology,” said Arsalan Khan, a young student based in Islamabad, sharing his understanding of the field after attending a conference focused on space science.

Space technology for socio-economic development

Held in Islamabad, the three-day International Space Conference 2022 focused on the role of space technology and applications in socio-economic development. Experts present at the conference promoted the applications of space technologies for sustainable development, including food security, health applications, access to telecommunications, disaster risk reduction, humanitarian crisis prevention, resource monitoring natural resources and environmental management.

The Third International Space Conference was organized by the Pakistan Space and Upper Research Commission (SUPARCO) – the country’s national space agency primarily responsible for conducting peaceful research on space technology and promoting technology for the betterment socio-economic of the country.

The Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO), the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Inter-Islamic Space Science and Technology Network (ISNET) also cooperated in organizing the space summit.

Pakistan plans to send first astronaut into space

SUPARCO Chairman Major General Amer Nadeem said the national space agency is implementing various projects related to development and national security. One of the projects is Pakistan’s ambitious plan to send the first astronaut into space.

He added that SUPARCO is “committed to promoting the use of space technology and its applications to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by UN Member States.” Space technology contributes greatly to addressing countless challenges in the areas of climate change, resource monitoring, disaster management and mitigation, health and education, he said. .

Research and investment

No less than 250 scientists, researchers, engineers, academics and heads of space agencies, including 35 foreign participants from 16 countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, China, Azerbaijan, Australia, Canada, l Egypt, Italy, South Korea, Malaysia, Austria and Switzerland participated in the conference.

The conference included 125 paper presentations on topics such as space technology, applications and education as well as space laws and policies, while the workshops focused on space applications, big data analysis, navigation by satellite and microgravity.

The scientists called for “investments in space science, research and innovation” as well as attractive funding to create future career opportunities to attract and retain top talent in the country that has made minor advances in the field over the past few decades.

Pakistani President Dr. Arif Alvi highlighted the use of outer space for peaceful purposes to ensure and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals during the International Space Conference on March 30, 2022.
Image Credit: Supplied

President calls for autonomy in space technologies

Pakistani President Dr Arif Alvi has called for efforts to “achieve self-reliance” in space technology, which he says is “important for the country to keep pace with global scientific progress”.

He asked the country’s space scientists to “explore satellite navigation capabilities and promote relevant applications in socio-economic development fields” and use satellite data to build climate resilience, agricultural system and water resources.

President Alvi also stressed the use of outer space for peaceful purposes to ensure and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and called on the international community to prevent countries from turning space into a battlefield. He also visited the exhibition where he learned about Pakistan’s aerospace navigation systems and multi-purpose robots.

Pakistani Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSC-EOS).

Investment in space technology

Experts suggested regional and international cooperation for capacity building, human resource development, technical infrastructure and attraction of financial resources.

Recently, the National Space Agency of Pakistan signed an agreement with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) to jointly develop communication satellites and other space projects.

The joint manufacturing “would greatly enhance Pakistan’s existing space technologies as well as research and development,” said aviation analyst Fahad Ibne Masood. Gulf News. Investments in space technology “are essential for Pakistan to develop and adopt applications for peaceful purposes, commercial space exploration“.

Pakistan Technology Assessment Satellite (PakTES-1A).

Pakistan’s satellite programs

• Pakistan’s current satellite fleet includes earth observation, remote sensing and communication satellites, which makes Pakistan self-sufficient in communication and high resolution imagery while providing a wide range of different services to the countries and valuable scientific data to global scientific communities, according to SUPARCO.
• Badr-1 was the first experimental and digital communications satellite developed and manufactured in Pakistan, which marked Pakistan’s successful footprint in space in 1990.
Pakistan’s current satellite fleet includes earth observation, remote sensing and communication satellites, which makes Pakistan self-sufficient in communication and high-resolution imagery while providing a wide range of different services to the country. and valuable scientific data to global scientific communities, according to SUPARCO.
• Badr-1 was the first experimental and digital communications satellite developed and manufactured in Pakistan, which marked Pakistan’s successful footprint in space in 1990.
• Pakistan launched its first communications satellite PAKSAT-1R in August 2011, marking the watershed moment for the country’s space program.
• In 2018, Pakistan launched a remote sensing satellite (PRSS-1) and a technology assessment satellite (PakTES-1A) after SUPARCO signed a space cooperation agreement with China.
• SUPARCO has launched an Optical Remote Sensing Application Satellite Program (PRSC-EOS) to build and launch optical remote sensing satellites by 2023.
• The launch of the PakSAT-MM1R satellite is scheduled for 2024.

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