Mission Moon: A milestone step by Pakistan in Space exploration
Pakistan and China have entered into a cooperative agreement to embark on a significant lunar project, specifically the construction of a research station on the South Pole of the moon. This milestone agreement was formally signed by the two nations, with Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar ul Haq Kakar and Chinese Premier Li Qiang presiding over the signing ceremony in Beijing.
China has set ambitious goals in its space exploration endeavors, aiming to establish itself as a prominent space power by the year 2030. To achieve this, China has already fostered collaboration with various countries, including Russia, Venezuela, and South Africa. Their objective includes landing Chinese astronauts on the moon before the close of this decade.
The timeline for the lunar research station project closely aligns with NASA's Artemis program, which seeks to return American astronauts to the lunar surface by December 2025. This global endeavor intensifies the competitive nature of lunar exploration.
Moreover, China is preparing for its Cheng E6 lunar mission, scheduled for launch in the first half of 2024. Notably, this mission boasts a unique feature by including a Pakistani satellite among its payload. The China National Space Administration (CNSA) has confirmed that the Cheng E6 mission remains on schedule for its journey to the moon.
This mission exemplifies the spirit of international cooperation in space exploration, as it carries payloads from several nations, such as Pakistan, the European Space Agency (ESA), France, and Italy. Among the scientific instruments on board Cheng E6, French equipment will be used for testing radioactive gas. Additionally, the ESA's Negative Ion Detector and Italy's Valle Brett Radar System are part of this lunar adventure.
A particularly significant component of this mission is the inclusion of Pakistan's CubeSat satellite, which will be dispatched to orbit the moon. This cooperation underscores the growing global interest in lunar exploration and collaborative efforts to advance scientific understanding and space exploration capabilities.