Pak space engineers, scientists getting training in China

BEIJING: A number of Pakistani engineers and scientists are getting space sciences training in China, said a senior official here.

“Hundreds of space engineers and scientists from several countries including Pakistan and Nigeria have received training in China since 2005,” Li Lan, Deputy General Manager of the Communications Satellite Division of China Great Wall Industry Corp, said in an interview.

China Great Wall Industry Corp is the country’s only commercial provider of international launch services and satellite in-orbit delivery.

Providing training for space professionals from developing economies was aimed at enhancing their capacity in satellite operations and space technology application, he said.
China and Pakistan share a long history of space technology cooperation. Pakistan’s first low-orbit satellite, BADR-A, was launched by China in 1990.

If China starts taking foreign astronauts to outer space, we would like to be the first candidate,” said Ahmed Bilal, chairman of the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission. We also want to cooperate with China in remote sensing technology and educating the public about space,” China Daily quoted him earlier.

China launched a communications satellite PAKSAT-1R for Pakistan from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province in August 2011.

The satellite was China’s first in-orbit delivery to Asian customers and also the first commercial satellite export to international users.

PAKSAT-1R was now providing a range of services, including broadband Internet, telecom and broadcasting, covering some regions of Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, and the eastern Africa.

The contract for the PAKSAT-1R was signed in 2008 between China Great Wall Industry Corporation and the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission of Pakistan.
Chairman SUPARCO, Ahmed Bilal who recently attended two international conferences on space sciences in China, in an  interview said that space technology applications act as a catalysts in socio-economic development.

Pakistan, he said also wanted to get maximum benefits from spaces technology applications and the present government is attaching great importance to it. Space Technology Applications are now playing an important role in human life and were being commonly used with full efficacy by shipping lines, airlines, in the fields of agriculture, medicines, spreading education, survey for dam constructions, road alignments,  disaster management etc, Bilal observed.

Li Lan said the training to engineers and scientists covers satellite operations, space technology and engineering that can greatly enhance their knowledge of satellite operations.

“When these trainees return to their countries, they will play important roles in their country’s space industry development,” Li was quoted by China Daily.

China Great Wall Industry Corp, a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, has launched 43 satellites and assisted in 37 more launches for international clients from 18 countries and regions, according to the company’s latest statistics.