iCube Qamar, Pakistan’s first lunar mission, was launched into orbit.

After deployment, orbiter will allow imaging of desired lunar surfaces in selected 12-hour elliptical orbit

Pakistan’s first-ever lunar mission, iCube Qamar, has been successfully launched into orbit, according to a Wednesday story that featured Dr. Khurram Khurshid.

The development was deemed “a great success overall,” according to Dr. Khurshid, a member of the Institute of Space Technology’s (IST) core team, who also announced that the orbiter was deployed on May 8 at 1:14 PM PST.

After being deployed, the satellite will be in a precisely chosen 12-hour elliptical orbit that will enable imaging of the targeted lunar areas.

On May 3, the iCube Qamar was launched from Hainan, China, aboard China’s Chang’e-6.

Dr. Khurram stated prior to the satellite’s launch last week that the Pakistani spacecraft, which is being carried by China’s Long March-5 rocket, will enter lunar orbit in five days and stay there for three to six months.

He went on to say that various satellite photos of the moon’s surface will be obtained, and Pakistan will then have access to its own satellite imagery of the moon for scientific purposes.

The Institute of Space Technology (IST) in Islamabad worked together to design and develop the satellite.

with Pakistan’s national space agency Suparco and China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU).

Two optical cameras on board the iCube Qamar orbiter are used to take pictures of the moon. The orbiter was merged with China’s Chang’e6 mission, the sixth in a series of lunar exploration missions, after successful qualification and testing.

Academic institutions use a class of tiny satellites known as “CubeSats” for research and experimentation in low Earth orbits, usually no higher than 1,000 kilometers.

But these days, deep space missions in higher orbits are using these satellites for a wide range of purposes.

Because of the Moon’s eccentric orbit, which keeps it 384,400 kilometers from Earth on average, controlling and communicating with small satellites is difficult.

The chance to launch CubeSat into

Member governments of the Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO) were extended an offer by the China National Space Agency (CNSA) to use lunar orbit from the Chang’e-6 mission.

Out of all the APSCO members, Pakistan’s proposal was approved following a careful assessment.

With assistance from Suparco and in partnership with SJTU, IST staff and students spearheaded the design, development, and qualification of iCube-Q.

Along with an onboard computer, thermal control, telemetry and telecommand capabilities, three-axis altitude control for desired orientation, and payload data communication modules for connecting through a deep space network, the iCube Qamar is equipped with two cameras as payload for taking pictures of the lunar surface and Earth/moon from lunar orbit.

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