Pakistan launches First lunas mission ICUBE-QAMAR ICUBE-QWENCHANG, CHINA : The combination of the Chang'e-6 lunar probe and the Long March-5 Y8 carrier rocket are transferred vertically to the launching area at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Wenchang, Hainan Province of China.

Some full form of Short words / Abbreviations that we use here:

  • Institute of Space Technology (IST)
  • ICUBE (Cubesat)
  • ICUBE-N (National Cubesat)
  • ICUBE-Q (QAMAR)
  • Space System Lab (SSL)
  • ASPCO SSS (Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO) has initiated the Student Small Satellite (SSS) project)
  • SUPARCO (Pakistan Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission)
  • SJTU (China Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China)
  • Guidance, Control and Navigation (GNC)

Before the launching of Pakistan’s first moon mission ICUBE-QAMAR, it is necessary to highlights some previous Pakistani satellite program projects.

Historical Perspective

  1. In November 2013, IST launch ICUBE-1 Pakistan’s first step on the Cubesat satellite and launched with the help of Russian base Yasny.
  2. After launching of first cubesat satellite, IST goes further on another satellite program called as ICUBE-2, this program was approved by Higher Education Commission.
  3. Another successful project APSCO SSS-2A of satellite launched in October 2021.
  4. In 2021, IST started work on another project ICUBE-N (National Cubesat) under the Space System Lab (SSL), duration of this project is 3 years.

From ICUBE-1 to ICUBE-Q (Qamar) and beyond

This project was developed by the students and faculty members of Institutes of Space Technology (IST) along with SUPARCO and SJTU (China Shanghai Jiao Tong University). The purpose of this Pakistan moon mission is to capture the images of lunar surface, Moon, Earth and Orbiter. Furthermore, to acquire lunar magnetic field data; create lunar magnetic field model and lay the basis for succeeding global collaboration on the Moon.

China-Pakistan mission:

Pakistan launch its first moon mission spacecraft into the orbit by with the help of Chinese powerful rocket. ICUBE-Q enter into orbit around the moon, preparing for lunar landing or conducting scientific experiments from orbit. Before launching of moon mission into the orbit, designers and developers must consider the following main components:

  • Payload

  • Bus

  • Propulsion, Power and Communication system

  • Guidance, Control and Navigation (GNC) system

  • Thermal Control and Life support system

  • Structural components

  • Protection shields

  • Landing and ascent modules

  • Rover and lander

  • Solar electric propulsion

  • Radiation Hardening

  • Fault tolerance and Redundancy

Technical specifications of ICUBE-Q

  • Duration of stay: 2 months
  • Launch Mass / Weight: 7 KG
  • Communication association: X-Band for both TT &C and imaging data transfer along with the speed of 1 Kilo bit per second data rate
  • Attitude control:  Control by 3 axes with the help of Reaction wheels, star sensor & Sun sensor
  • Power: Implemented solar panels (02 numbers) and battery of 12 volts, 11.6 AH
  • Payload: Equipped with two cameras and one is mounted on +/- X Panels (the resolution of this camera is 1280 x 720)
  • Launching location: Wenchang Space Launch Centre in southern China’s Hainan Province
  • Launching date: May 3, 2024
  • Lunar probe: Chinese Change’6
  • Landing location: Land in the South Pole-Aitken Basin
  • Landing purpose: Collection of dust and rock samples for study and research
  • Collection method: Scoop and drilling
  • Collection size: Upto 4.4 pounds (2 Kilograms)

After completion, the mission ICUBE-Q return to the earth atmosphere, using the heat shield to protect the spacecraft and collected materials (important & valuable scientific data) during returning.

Besides CubeSat from Pakistan, the Chang’e-6 mission also carries a number of other international payloads to the moon, including the European Space Agency’s lunar surface ion analyzer, France’s radon detection instrument, Italy’s laser corner reflector.

Congratulations words of SUPARCO on its official website

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Is Pakistan launching the moon mission?

Yes Pakistan launch it ICUBE-Qamar with the help of Chinese.

What was Pakistan’s first space mission?

ICUBE-Qamar

From where Pakistan launch ICUBE-Q moon mission?

Wenchang Space Launch Centre in southern China’s Hainan Province

Has Pakistan launched any satellite?

Yes, Pakistan previously launch Badr-1 as secondary payload. Pakistan also launch Paksat-1.

How many rockets has Pakistan launched into space?

Pakistan still successfully launched over 200 rockets into the space.

What role does Pakistan’s iCube-Qamar satellite play in China’s Chang’e-6 lunar mission, and what milestone did it recently achieve?

Pakistan’s iCube-Qamar satellite has successfully transmitted its inaugural lunar images, which is showcasing the significant milestone in space exploration as part of China’s Chang’e-6 mission.

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