*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - August 20, 2009: Dr Samar Mubarakmand, a renowned Pakistani nuclear scientist, said that Pakistan would launch its first space satellite in April 2011, local media reported Tuesday. Talking to a private TV channel on Tuesday, Dr Samar said the satellite, likely to be sent into earth orbit, would monitor mineral and agriculture programs and weather conditions. He said this project is funded by the Pakistani Planning Commission and there is no scarcity of funds for nuclear and space projects of the country. Dr Samar said the country's nuclear program was not inferior to any other country in its standard and proficiency. Dr Samar is a nuclear scientist and nuclear physicist, and was the chairman of Pakistan's National Engineering and Scientific Commission in 2001-2007, according to local news agency NNI. He largely contributed to the nuclear program of Pakistan and he was awarded three highest civil awards of the country. He got the national fame in May 1998 when he headed the scientists' team which conducted the six nuclear tests in southwest Pakistan's Balochistan province.
Leading nuclear scientist Samar Mobarakmand who is also a member of the Planning Commission, made the announcement while addressing a conference on aerospace science and engineering. He did not give details about the satellite. "The country has sufficient funds for the atomic and space programmes, and Pakistan's nuclear programme is not lesser than that of other atomic countries," said Mobarakmand, who played a key role in the country's nuclear tests in 1998. Pakistan's progress in space research had enabled it to make accurate analyses in the fields of minerals and agriculture, he said. In October last year, Pakistan said it had signed an agreement with China for launching its first telecommunications satellite, the Paksat-1R, by 2011. The agreement, signed by the China Great Wall Industry Corporation and Pakistan's Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, covers the building and launch of the satellite. CGWIC has said that a Long March 3B rocket will be used to put Paksat-1R into orbit. Pakistan will use the satellite for domestic telecommunications and broadcast services.