Pakistan to up their game in astronomy, space sciences: report


This July Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) has sent two satellites in space from a launching facility in China after often being criticized for not being competent enough like its Indian/Chinese counterparts.

According to a local media report, one of the satellites launched the PakTES-1A has been developed by Pakistani engineers to primarily aim at remote sensing. Moreover, it had been reported that the completion of the satellite was a tough task as it could not afford delays.

A SUPARCO official quoted by the local media said, “The other satellite, PRSS-1, developed by China and Pakistan in collaboration, was due to launch on July 9, and PakTES-1A had to be co-launched, thus the Pakistani engineers worked day and night to have it ready by then.”

Annually, developed and emerging countries like the United States, European Union, Japan, China and India cumulatively spend trillions of dollars on technologies “to send humans into space, deploy sophisticated satellites for a variety of purposes, and to find new worlds through space and ground-based telescopes”.

“Pakistan, too, has historically relied on China to get its satellites launched into space. Yet to come on par with India in space sciences, Pakistan also lags behind in research related to astronomy with no major astronomical breakthrough coming from indigenous institutions,” the report stated.

In addition to that, there are astronomy societies in all major cities, working at their best to spread awareness in masses about the universe with whatever resources and technical expertise that they have. There are located in Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta.

The local media report also stated that the Karachi Astronomers Society that was founded in 2008 is known for “owning one of the biggest private telescopes in Pakistan”.

It is an 18-inch diameter telescope which belongs to the society’s Chairman Khalid Marwat.

In addition to that, Karachi also is home to Pakistan’s biggest telescope, a 24-inch diameter telescope that is owned by astronomy enthusiast Naveed Merchant.

Similarly, the Lahore Astronomical Society (LAST) is also among the most well-equipped astronomy societies of the country.