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Pakistan decides to send astronauts into space with Chinese help

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided in principle to send its astronauts on a space mission with assistance of China, ARY News reported.

The decision to this regard will be taken during the Federal Cabinet meeting today with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair.

The Cabinet will also ratify the space mission proposal soon after discussion on the matter.

The meeting will also approve agreement between Pakistan and China on joint anti-narcotics task force.

In December last year, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman had announced that Pakistan will be able to send astronauts into space with the collaboration of China in the next two years.

He was addressing the inauguration session of AirTech’17 conference, hosted by Air University in Islamabad. AirTech’17 is the country’s largest technical and scientific Olympiad, being held at the main campus of Air University from December 7 to 10.

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China in July this year launched two satellites for Pakistan on a Long March-2C rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, to monitor billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

According to XinHua, the PRSS-1 is China’s first optical remote sensing satellite sold to Pakistan and the 17th satellite developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) for an overseas buyer.

The PRSS-1 will be used for land and resources surveying, monitoring of natural disasters, agriculture research, urban construction and providing remote sensing information for the Belt and Road region. It was earlier reported that the satellites were being launched to monitor the development of the $ 50 billion CPEC projects, the agency said.

China and Pakistan had signed an agreement in 2016 for the launch of a special remote sensing satellite this year in 2018.

In April 2016, the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and the China Great Wall Industry Cooperation (CGWIC) signed an agreement for the development and launch of the ‘Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1) System’.

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