Pakistan's first satellite will be launched into space by April 2011, a top nuclear scientist of the country said on Tuesday.
Leading nuclear scientist Samar Mobarakmand who is also a member of the Planning Commission, made the announcement while addressing a conference on aerospace science and engineering. He did not give details about the satellite.
"The country has sufficient funds for the atomic and space programmes, and Pakistan's nuclear programme is not lesser than that of other atomic countries," said Mobarakmand,who played a key role in the country's nuclear tests in 1998.
Pakistan's progress in space research had enabled it to make accurate analyses in the fields of minerals and agriculture, he said. In October last year, Pakistan said it had signed an agreement with China for launching its first telecommunications satellite, the Paksat-1R, by 2011.
The agreement, signed by the China Great Wall Industry Corporation and Pakistan's Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, covers the building and launch of the satellite. CGWIC has said that a Long March 3B rocket will be used to put Paksat-1R into orbit. Pakistan will use the satellite for domestic telecommunications and broadcast services.