China launches two satellites for Pakistan on a Long March-2C rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, July 9, 2018. /VCG Photo
China has been increasingly supporting Pakistan's space program in recent years. In July this year, China launched two satellites - PRSS-1 and PakTES-1A - for Pakistan on a Long March-2C rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu Province.
The PRSS-1 is China's first optical remote sensing satellite sold to Pakistan and the 17th satellite developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) for an overseas buyer, Xinhua reported. PakTES-1A is a scientific experiment satellite developed by Pakistan, it stated.
Earlier in August 2011, Pakistan's communication satellite PakSat-1R was launched aboard China's Long March-3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, in southwestern Sichuan Province.
Chinese and Pakistani engineers worked closely in developing the satellite, which was manufactured by China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), a fully-owned subsidiary of the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASTC).
The 2011 launch was described by Pakistan's then Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani as a significant step toward realizing his country's Space Vision 2040 plan, which aims to boost socioeconomic development and national security through space technologies.
"I am sure that with the help of our Chinese friends, we will be able to make good progress in harnessing space technologies and realizing the goals set in Space Vision 2040," Gilani was quoted as saying by the Associated Press of Pakistan.