The three-day National Space Conference (September 17-19) for space cooperation between the developing and the developed states was arranged by Pakistan Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO). Countries such as Canada, Malaysia, Ukraine, Nigeria, Egypt, Russia, China and international organisations such as United Nations and Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organisation participated in it.
The conference will discuss such matters as usage of space technology for improving relations between developing and developed states, in terms of their economic cooperation for mutual goals. International space laws and challenges facing the world in endeavour of space exploration were also pondered upon.
Pakistan has collaborated with Russia, China and Ukraine on different space and scientific projects. The conference also gave an opportunity to Pakistan to sign some agreements with Russian Federal Space Agency (RFSA), China Great Wall Industry Cooperation (CGWIC) and the State Space Agency of Ukraine (SSAU).
Just last year, Pakistan launched its first space communication satellite, PAKSAT-1R, under Pakistan Space Programme 2040 under National Command Authority (NCA). With the cooperation from China, PAKSAT-1 was upgraded to manufacture PAKSAT-1R. It has a life-span of 15 years and will be re-processed in 2026. Through this communication satellite, Pakistan can receive televised broadcasts, radio signals, and cyber data from Asia, Europe and Africa. Further upgradation of PAKSAT-1R has been planned along with other joint space ventures with cooperation from China.
The project is highly expensive requiring billions of rupees in its funding. This is why Pakistan is looking for cooperation from other states. Under the National Satellite Development Programme (NSDP), SUPARCO was granted more than 124 million rupees. Rs.115 million was allocated for Satellite Bus Development Facility (Phase-I), Rs.46 million for providing logistical support to NSDC and more than Rs.41 million for Altitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS). The entire budget for SUPARCO comes to Rs.717 million.