• Sunday, June 23, 2024

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Pakistan’s maiden lunar orbiter sends first images

The mini satellite ‘iCube-Qamar’ was launched as part of China’s Chang’e-6 lunar mission on May 3 from the Hainan province

Picture for representation (iStock)

By: Shajil Kumar

PAKISTAN’S maiden lunar orbiter sent the first images of the sun and the moon, days after it was launched as part of China’s moon mission.

The mini satellite ‘iCube-Qamar’ was launched as part of China’s Chang’e-6 lunar mission on May 3 from the Hainan province.

The images were unveiled at a ceremony organised at the China National Space Agency (CNSA) to mark the successful mission, Maria Tariq, spokesperson of Pakistan’s national space agency Suparco, told Dawn.com.

She said that pictures were officially handed over to Pakistan’s ambassador to China, Khalil Hashmi, in Beijing.

On May 8, the Pakistani satellite separated from the orbiter near the far moon point and then successfully captured the first image.

Pakistan’s CubeSat project achieved the set goal of ‘successfully separating and obtaining telemetry’ and achieved complete success,” the CNSA announcement said.

The first image showed the sun as a bright spotlight; the second was that of a sparkling half moon while the third image showed the moon on the left and the sun on the right, according to images shared by CNSA online.

The module was designed by Islamabad’s Institute of Space Technology (IST) in collaboration with China’s Shanghai University (SJTU) and Suparco. (PTI)

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