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Pakistan's first Cubesat satellite iCUBE-1 launched

22 November, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Institute of Space Technology (IST) on Thursday launched Pakistan's first Cubesat satellite, iCUBE-1, on board Dnepr launch vehicle from Yasny launch base, Russia.

With this launch, Institute of Space Technology (IST) has etched its name among the foremost universities in the world who have built and launched a Cubesat satellite.

This satellite will open up a wide vista of future experiments that can be carried on Cubesats in the domain of imaging, microgravity, biology, nano technology, space dynamics, chemistry, space physics and various other fields.

Cubesats can also provide a test bed for developing satellite constellations for specific applications. The IST has achieved this success in a short span of 10 years owing to the concerted efforts by its leadership, students and faculty to standout in this field and to create a national centre of excellence in space technology.

IST Vice Chancellor Imran Rehman has congratulated `Team IST' for this great achievement.

IST spokesperson Raza Butt said, "iCUBE-1 has been launched in a polar orbit, 600 km above the surface of earth, and is designed to take low resolution images of earth and other space objects."

Initially, iCUBE-1 will transmit a Continuous Wave Morse coded beacon with message "iCUBE-1 First CubeSat of Pakistan".

Ham radio operators have a great opportunity to hear those signals on the VHF band. iCUBE-1 has a mass of 1.1kg and is thus categorised as a pico-satellite. The satellite has a volume of 10cm cube and it houses several sensors to collect data for scientific purposes. iCUBE-1 is a fully autonomous satellite and is capable of maintaining its health via its on-board computer.

The satellite will send its health data to ground stations and can also be commanded from Satellite Tracking and Control Station at IST.

Launch of iCUBE-1 is a significant milestone in the space programme of Pakistan as it will motivate the youth to take more active part in the future satellite development programme of Pakistan, he said.


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