ISLAMABAD (Agencies): Pakistan’s inaugural lunar satellite mission, iCube-Qamar, has successfully entered lunar orbit. The satellite is currently orbiting 200 kilometers above the Moon’s surface, completing a full rotation every 12 hours.

The iCube-Qamar was launched on board China’s Chang’e-6 from Hainan, China, on May 3. The satellite was designed and developed by the Islamabad-based Institute of Space Technology (IST) in collaboration with China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and Pakistan’s national space agency SUPARCO.

The satellite carries two optical cameras to image the lunar surface. Following its successful deployment in orbit on May 8 at 1:14pm Pakistan time, the iCube-Qamar has already made three rounds around the moon. The first image was received two days after the successful deployment.

“The iCube-Qamar will capture images of the lunar orbit from a vantage point 200 kilometers above the moon’s surface,” stated the IST.

The signals of iCube-Qamar will be received on Earth by covering a distance of 360,000 to 400,000 km.

This marks a significant milestone for Pakistan’s space exploration endeavors, with Qamar being Pakistan’s pioneer satellite to venture into lunar orbit.

The scientists termed the development “a great success overall. Following its deployment, the satellite will take images of the desired lunar surfaces in a carefully selected 12-hour elliptical orbit. This will provide Pakistan with its own satellite images of the moon for research.

By Media

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