iCUBE Qamar: Pakistan Launches First Lunar Mission

The satellite has been designed and developed by the IST in collaboration with China's Shanghai University and SUPARCO.

iCUBE Qamar: Pakistan Launches First Lunar Mission

Pakistan has achieved a historic milestone with the launch of iCube Qamar, the country's first satellite mission to the moon, from Hainan, China, on China's Chang'E6. 

The Institute of Space Technology (IST) website and Chinese state television carried live coverage of the event. 

According to Dr. Khurram Khurshid, a member of the Institute of Space Technology's (IST) Core Committee, Pakistan's satellite, which is being transported by China's Long March-5 rocket, would enter lunar orbit in five days and stay there for three to six months. 

He said 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 IST planned and produced the satellite in partnership with Pakistan's national space agency, SUPARCO, and China's Shanghai University.

Two optical cameras are carried by the ICUBE-Q orbiter to take pictures of the lunar surface. ICUBE-Q has now been successfully integrated into the Chang'e6 mission after qualification and testing. China's lunar exploration mission, Chang'e 6, is the sixth in the series.

Chang'6, China’s Lunar Mission, will land on the moon's far side in order to gather surface samples and transport them back to Earth for more study.

The mission is significant for Pakistan since it will also transport a Pakistan CubeSat satellite, iCube-Q, created by IST. 

CubeSats are primarily designed to enable scientific study, technological development, and educational activities in space exploration.