China Boosts Pakistan
Recently, nearly 200 scientists, researchers and officials from the space industry participated in the Symposium on Space International Cooperation, promoting the economic and social development of the developing world. The symposium, held in November, in Beijing, was a joint effort put together by the International Academy of Astronautics and the China International Exchange Center for Astronautical Science and Technology.

During the symposium, Hiroki Matsuo, Vice-President of the International Academy of Astronautics confirmed China’s commitment to collaborating with developing countries in the areas of space-based navigation, manned and robotic space flights and data applications—namely with Pakistan and Venezuela. Matsuo declared, “Preparation work for the Venezuela Remote Sensing Satellite II project is proceeding according to schedule.” He also verified that a similar remote sensing satellite, to be used by Pakistan, would be finished in 2018.

Remote sensing satellites are dedicated to accumulating data about the earth’s surface and can help survey resources on land, monitor nearby oceans and forecast weather — something essential to crop planning and resiliency in the aftermath of natural disasters.

Both the Venezuelan and Pakistani remote sensing satellites are being developed by the China Academy of Space Technology. The company is also dedicated to expanding its services to other countries in the developing world, especially to countries in the Middle East that are new to the space market. To date, 11 satellites, developed in China, have been completed and exported to nine different countries, including Laos, Nigeria and Bolivia. The successes of the China Academy of Space Technology in working with the developing world can be attributed to their commitment to providing more than just the design and manufacturing of remote sensing satellites. They also incorporated launch, operations and training services into their business model.

Hu Zhongmin, the Director of the International Cooperation Department at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, the parent company of the China Academy of Space Technology, is excited about further collaborations between China and other countries. Zhongmin and his company understand that multi-national exchanges of space technology can greatly benefit the developing world.

When it comes to manufacturing and launching satellites, China has had a long-running relationship with Venezuela. In fact, the Venezuelan Remote Sensing Satellite II, to be completed later this year, is the third collaborative effort between the two countries. The first was a communication satellite, launched in 2008 and the second was the Venezuelan Remote Sensing Satellite I, which was launched in 2012.

Pakistan is also a veteran to the world of space technology, establishing the Space Sciences Research Wing to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission in 1961. The original project from the program, Rehbar-I, was launched in 1962 and became only the tenth of its kind in the world. Data from this original Pakistan Space Sciences Research project helped officials study weather, cyclones and cloud formations above the Arabian Sea.

Ashley Henyan

Photo: Flickr