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Without them, space exploration would be impossible. Rockets and space shuttles help transport people to space. Satellite telescopes and space stations help people explore space. They also help us understand space better by taking pictures of stellar objects. The ISS International Space Station has begun constructed in 1998.It will house up to 700 astronauts with a connection of modules as two football fields. There might also be a satellite that can take pictures far beyond what we have today. (1)
Highly developed space technologies are required to make possible many potential space activities and to less the cost and improve the performances of others. The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, which created the NASA, directed the Agency to accomplish the Nation’s Civil Space Activities to contribute significantly to the preservation of the role of the United States as a leader in Aeronautical and Space Sciences and Technology. (2)
We all know the importance of satellite based technology in our daily lives as well as conventional military hard ware. After the cold war the development of satellites and electronic warfare technology enter into force of almost every field of conventional warfare. The usage of satellite technology primarily concerns and tactical advantages based on satellite surveillance, communication affect the opponents in conventional war. The problem of poor visibility or bad weather does not affect satellite weapons such as joint direct munitions (JDAM) and joined stand off weapon (JSOW). These weapons can be deployed in all weather condition without the need of any ground support it works upon GPS.
Development of Pakistan’s space program:
The Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) also known as the Pakistan Space Agency of the Pakistani government, responsible for nation’s public space program. SUPARCO was established on September 16, 1961 by the order of President Muhammad Ayub Khan on the advice of its founding director, Abdus Salam. (3)
Pakistans mission to pursue peaceful space technology began in the early 1960s.It was Dr. Abdus Salam’s advice to the president of Pakistan to establish a National Space Agency of Pakistan. It was decided to set up a committee dealing with Space Sciences. A Space Science Research Wing of the Pakistan’s Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC ) was established through an Executive order of the President of Pakistan General Ayub Khan which was addressed to Dr.I H Usmani , the chairman of PAEC . The program of rocket firings was entrusted to the chairman of PAEC. (4)
Dr. Abdus Salam was appointed its first chairman.
On June 7 1962, under the leadership of Air Cdre. Wladyslaw Jozef Marian Turowicz, a two stage rocket, Rehbar-I was launched from the Sonmiani Satellite Launch Center. Pakistan was the third country in Asia and the tenth in the world to conduct such a launching. (5) The United States launch first rocket from Pakistani soil. The launch used the combination of two US rocket motors the NIKE – CAJUN launched from Sonmiani, 50 Km west from Karachi .( 6 ) The rocket reached an altitude of almost 130 Km. The US Space Agency NASA hailed the launch at the beginning of a program continuing co-operation in space research of mutual interest. The NASA SUPARCO co-operation agreement called for the training of Pakistani scientists and technicians at Guddard space flight center and Wallops Island NASA also set up research associates and fellowship programs at American universities. In 1981 SUPARCO planed Astronautic program with NASA. But due to the space shuttle challenger incident the program was put on hold. Later it was cancelled in 1990. (6)
On 8 March 1966, President Ayub Khan constituted SUPARCO as a separate organization. Dr Abdus Salam , along with Dr. W J M Turowicz, led a team of aerospace engineers and rocket scientists to design a Rehbar sounding rocket series.(7) Dr Abdus Salam also established space centers in different cities of Pakistan like Karachi and Lahore. He also initiated an aerospace engineering program in SUPARCO. He was one of the pioneering figures in the 1960s to lead Pakistan in the space power world.
He knows the importance of space and nuclear technology his efforts were also involved in the development and installation of high powered astronomical telescope at Karachi University. He also established aero space engineering course at PAF Academy.(8) Though the Pakistani space program was frozen several times like in 1970s, by the government of Pakistan , President Yahya Khan and PM Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto froze it more than a decade then again in 1993s both nuclear and space program due to economic depression. This space program was defreeze by then President General Pervaiz Mussharraf and the agency developed a satellite development program rapidly but on the other hand Indian space Research organization(ISRO) progress very well as ESA, NASA and Chinese space agency. SUPARCO faced strict sanctions on the import of various materials required to manufacture and launch rockets during early 90s from USA and Russia. The delay of Russian launch vehicle also resulting the long delay for the launch of Badr B, Pakistan’s second satellite, These events had an immense impact on SUPARCO’s plan to launch and place its own satellite in orbit. (9)
Beside the talented space and nuclear scientists Pakistan followed the policy of deliberate ambiguity for many decades. That’s why its still unclear what the plans and operations as well as the capability of SUPARCO and its facilities are?
Comparison of Pakistan and India space program:
SUPARCO with the help of Amateur Radio Society started building the small Amateur radio satellite in late 1986. Badr -1 was planned to be launched on the US Space Shuttle, but Challenger explosion and consequent delay in American flight changed the plan. (10)
Badr -A was Pakistan’s first indigenously developed satellite and was launched from the Xichang Launcher Center, China on July 16, 1990 aboard a Chinese Long March 2E rocket. Badr- 1 weighted 150 pounds. It was designed for a circular orbit at 250- 300 miles altitude, the satellite successfully completed its designed life. (11)
Pakistan’s second satellite was Badr -B .It was an earth observation satellite and was launched on 10 December 2001 on a Zenit 2 rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. It was designed by Space Innovations Limited from the UK. (12)
Pakistan has only operated one small satellite in LEO; the country’s modest space program has long been leaning toward remote sensing applications. A data processing infrastructure has been established to exploit earth observation data transmitted by Land sat, NOAA, and SPOT satellites. Further SUPARCO is preparing for the commercial launch of a simple Pakistani satellite with earth imaging capabilities.
It was expected that SUPARCO would launch the second Badar -II satellite in1993 but target was not achieved. The Badr -II will help Pakistan in making of infrastructure for space competent system and achievement of know how and capability in the field of satellite attitude control. (12)
PakSat-1 was Pakistan’s first geostationary satellite. The satellite was initially known as Palapa C1 and was designed to serve Indonesia after an electronics failure, it was renamed Anatolia 1 and then renamed again to PakSat-1i in 2002.it was originally manufactured by Boeing and used the HS 601 spacecraft design. It was launched on February 1, 1996. (13)
PakSat-1 currently severing a number of regional customers including, TV broadcasters, telecom companies, data and broad band internet services providers as well as government organizations. PakSat-1 will be replaced before its end of life by PakSat- 1R to ensure continuity of service. (14)
PakSat- 1R Satellite:
PakSat- 1R Satellite will replace the existing paksat -1 in 2010.under the agreement Telesat will help the Pakistani agency find a manufacturer, technical and commercial advice and also to help supervise the construction of new satellite and monitor the launch and in-orbit testing services.
Haft Ballistic Missile Project:
Despite of space program SUPARCO initiated Pakistan nuclear missile development program in early 1980s.scientists from KRL and SUPARCO developed colaboratlly Haft missiles series. It was reviled in 1989.with the successful launch of an indigenous multi stage rocket into the deep space. Which was said 480 Km deep into the space. Recently SUPARCO has tested two high altitude hyper sonic sounding rockets (Shaper and Rakhnum). This is claimed to be a 3 stage liquid fuel rocket and get the altitude of 1000 Km. (15)
Shaheen III satellite launch vehicle (SLV):
It’s a 3 stage SLV and can carry the payload of 100 Kg to an orbit of 450-500 km above earth surface. (16)
Indian Space Research Organization:
The national space program was formally organized in 1972 with the formation of space commission, the department of space (DOS) and Indian space organization (ISRO) to promote the development and application of space technology and socio economic benefit of the country. Space commission is the policy making body and these policies are implemented by department of space .research and development activities are carried out through Indian space research orgnisation.the over all co-ordination of the space program is carried out by program offices of ISRO in different areas like satellite communication, earth observation systems, space sciences, launch vehicles, international co-operation and industrial co-ordination etc. (17)
Major establishments of the department of space include:
National remote sensing agency (NRSA): NRSA located in Haiderabad is an antonymous institution supported by department of space .its main task is acquisition, processing and distribution of data from remote sensing satellites. It has an earth station that receives data from Indian remote sensing satellites, US-LANDSAT and NOAA, French SPOT and also acquires micro wave data from European remote sensing satellite (ERS).NRSA is also responsible for Indian institute at Dehradun.(17)
b) Physical research laboratory (PRL): it is located at Ahmadabad. It is a premier center for research in space and allied sciences. PRL’s main research areas are ASTRONOMY, ASTRO PHYSICS, PLANETARY ATMOSPHERE, EARTH SCIENCES, SOLAR SYSTEMS STUDIES and THEORETCIAL PHYSICS. It also manages solar observatory at Udaipur.
c) National mesosphere -stratosphere – troposphere radar facility (NMRF): this facility conducts atmospheric research and also available for national and international scientists.(17)
d) Vikram sarabhai space center (VSSC): it is located at Thiruvanthapuram. It is the main establishment for all rockets and launch vehicle programs. Its major research areas are Aeronautics, Launch Vehicles, Avionics, Propellants, and Composites, Solid propulsion, mechanical computers and system reliability.(17)
e) ISRO Satellite center (ISAC): ISAC is the lead establishment in research and development of satellite technology. Its main areas of activities are Power systems, Digital systems, communications, Microwaves, Thermal systems, Space craft mechanisms, Assembly and testing. It also carries out research and development in the field of Electro optic sensors and other relevant systems of satellites.(17)
f)Shar center : Shar Center is located in Sriharikota (Tamilnado)is the main launch center of ISRO. It acquired all facilities required for a launch mission including range instrumentation, mission analysis, range safety, and meteorology. This center also has the facilities for processing and ground testing solid propellant motors required for launch vehicles. Shar also operates the launch ranges at Kerala. (18)
g) Liquid propulsion systems center (LPSC): the activities of LPSC are carried out at different places like Bangalore Thiruvanthapuram.
h) Space application center (SAC): Space application center is located at Ahmadabad. Its major areas of activity consist of satellite communication and remote sensing. Including micro wave remote sensing .it also operates Delhi Earth station for satellite communication. (18)
i) ISRO Telemetry, tracking and command network (ISTRAC):
This establishment provides mission support nearer satellites and launch vehicle missions. It has also established a vast network of ground stations at Bangalore, Lucknow, port blar, siriharikota, tamilnado , bears lake ,Mauritius and many others .
j)Development and educational communicational unit (DECU): it is located at Ahmadabad. It is involved in conception, definition, planning, and implementation and socio economic evaluation of space application.(19)
k) INSAT Master control facility (MCF): INSAT Master control facility is located at Hassan Karnatka.it is responsible for all post launch operations on INSAT satellites which includes orbit Manoeubres , station keeping and on orbit operation of the space craft.(19)
l) ISRO Inertial system unit (IISU): It is located at Thiruvanthapuram. Its area of research and development includes navigation systems, satellites inertial systems integration and simulation of inertial systems, bearing and space technology.(19)
m)Antrix Corporation limited: it is marketing agency under the department of space which markets satellite components and sub systems. It also provides satellite fabrication, launch services and tracking facilities. (20)
Major technological programs and achievements:
From a Modest beginning in 1963 with the launch of small rocket from Thumba
Thiruvanthapuram, Indian space program has come along way. Today Indian national satellite system (INSAT)and the Indian remote sensing satellite system (IRS)are the vital elements of national infra structure for telecommunication , television broad casting, meteorology , survey and management of resources are now designed and build indegiousnly INSAT satellite system. It is one of the largest domestic satellite systems in the world today. INSAT Systems got a substantial boost in 1999-2000 with the commission of INSAT- 2E and the planned launch of first two INSAT 3 A and INSAT 3 V of the five satellite series. It also extended C-band transponders. (21)
IRS Satellite Systems:
An Indian remote sensing satellite system comprises a constellation of four satellites. IRS Satellite Systems provides remote sensing services. Data provided by these satellites is put to use for application like agricultural crop acreage and yield estimation, ground water targeting, identification of waste land for possible reclamation, forest survey snow melting, mineral prospects, thematic mapping, and urban planning environmental monitoring and so on.
Data from IRS Satellite is also acquired and used by several other countries like Korea, Japan, Thailand, Europe and Dubai under commercial agreements. The IRS series includes OCEAN SAT, CARTOSAT and RESOURCESAT and many others.(21)
Satellite Launch Vehicles:
ISRO has made substantial progress in the development of launch vehicle.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has already became operational with the successful launch of IRS 1.it is also plan to launch all future satellites in the IRS series by this vehicle. The PSLV is also being offered other countries to launch their satellites. A beginning was made by launching IRS -P4 (OCEAN SAT) PSLV-C2 was used to launched two small satellites namely the Korean (KISAT) and the German TUBSAT as pay load.(21)
Militarization of space:
Space plays an increasing role in military activities. Over 800 satellites orbit the earth, many of which have military uses, from reconnaissance to guiding weapon systems. Satellites are the main focus of military activities. They are widely used to provide support for military or security related activities such as verifying compliance with arms control treaties. They are also increasingly used to provide direct support for military operations. During the 2004 Iraq war, 68% of munitions were satellite guided. (22)
Right from the beginning satellite has an important military role during war time as well as in peace time.dependance on them is increased dramatically in last two decades. The previous methods of reconnaissance, communication, remote sensing etc are largely responsible for increasing role of military satellites. Some of the most commonly military satellite applications are;
Reconnaissance and intelligence gathering functions.
Command and communication
Early warning satellites
Nuclear detection satellites (23)
1: Reconnaissance and intelligence gathering functions:
The most known types of military satellites are these used to verify the extant and the composition of military forces. The most important role of Reconnaissance and intelligence gathering satellites is the verification of the agreed limitation of strategic arms and monitoring of new military developments. It is achieved by a variety of electronic and photo graphic means.
Command and communication:
Command and communication is one such application the satellites today meant for the purpose can provide instant communication between the operational forces and their national command authorities irrespective of the distance or time of the day. (23)
The Navigation satellites are capable of providing data to enable position fixing with an accuracy of few meters.
Early warning satellites:
The role of these satellites is to detect the exhaust of rising ICBMs. These satellites carry large telescopes and television cameras to transmit photos of detected ICBMs.(24)
Uses of these satellites like weather forecast have been earlier benefits of space program. The weather satellites not only provide long range forecast for military planners, they also play a key roll in reconnaissance satellites. They provide advance information to the mission planners of reconnaissance satellite on whether the target area will be clear of clouds cover or not. When the reconnaissance satellite makes its plan, this eliminates the wastage of reconnaissance film.(24)
Nuclear detection satellites:
The idea of nuclear detection using satellites originated by USA. While finding ways to police a nuclear test ban treaty. The solution came in the form of Wela satellites. This has the capability of detection a nuclear explosion at the distance of Venus or Mars and reports its yield and other characteristics. What now after 1970 IMEWS (integrated missile early warning satellites) had taken over its place. (24)
How India can weaponise space to effect conventional and strategic forces:
ISRO opposed military applications for duel use projects such as SLV3, (satellite launch vehicle- 3) .Ultimately the defense research and DRDO based missile program headed by Dr. Abdul Kalam who was the project in charge of SLV3 at ISRO, DRDO borrowed him with other scientists and other technology resources from ISRO directly for Indian missile program at DRDO where Dr. Abdul Kalam designed the Agni missile using the SLV 3 solid first stage and liquid fuel second stage (Prithvi Missile derived).
IRS and INSAT were mainly intended and used for civilian economic purposes. They also offered military spinoff in 1996.ministary of defense blocked the use of IRS 1 C by the Indian environment and agriculture ministry in order to monitor ballistic missile near Indian borders.
Indian air force’s doctrine also aspired to use space assets for surveillance and battle management. (25)
Satellite navigations allow precision in the delivery of weapons targets, increasing their lethality. Satellite navigations can be regarded as a force multiplier. Satellite navigations also allow forces to be directed and locate themselves more easily in the fog of war.
According to the report by IANS February 9th 2010 India is developing an intelligence satellite for detecting conversations and espionage activities. According to Defense electronics research laboratory (DERL) Rupees 10 billion has been allocated in for this project in cooperation with ISRO. The satellite will be fitted with the electronic sensors are more powerful than the remote sensors satellites of ISRO. Space craft should be ready to launch by 2014.
According to a TV press briefing during the 97th Indian science conference the director general DRDO announced that India is developing lasers and Exo-Atmospheric Kill Vehicle that would be combined to produce a weapon to destroy enemy satellites in orbit. (26) Later in February 10 2010 DG DRDO and Scientific advisor Dr V K Saraswat said that India has “all the building blocks necessary” to integrate an anti- satellite weapon to neutralize the hostile satellites in low earth and polar orbits. He also said that the propulsion module and kill vehicles already existed in principle on the Agni missile series .he also said India doesn’t had a formal anti-satellite weapon as yet, however anti- satellite weapons could be developed as the part of Indian Ballistic missile program which would be completed in 2014. (27) India also identified development of ASAT for electronic and physical destruction of satellites. In both LEO and the higher GEO synchronous orbits in its long term prospective plans (2012-2027). (28)
Geopolitical and economic positions during 1960s and 1970s forced India to start its own launch vehicle program. At its first days from 1960-70 India successfully developed a sounding rocket program. (29) By the 1980 the search yielded the satellite launch vehicle 3 and the more advanced augmented Satellite launched vehicle (ASLV) completed with operational supporting infrastructure. ISRO applied its capabilities and resources for the advancement of launch vehicle technology resulting in creation of polar satellite launch vehicle and geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV).
1: Satellite launch vehicles (SLVs)
SLV was a four stage solid fuel light launcher. It was intended to reach the height of 500 Km and can carry the pay load of 40 Kg. (30)
Augmented satellite launch vehicle (ASLV):
It was a five stage solid propellant rocket with the capability of placing a 150 Kg satellite in to LEO.THIS PROJECT WAS STARTED BY THE ISRO in early 1980s for the pay load to be placed into geostationary orbit. Its design was based on SLV later it was decommissioned in 1994. (31)
2: Polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV):
It was an expandable launch system developed to launch Indian remote sensing satellites into sun synchronous orbits .PSLVs can also launch small satellites in geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). The reliability of PSLV is proven by that it has launched 30 spacecrafts 14 Indian and 16 from other countries into a verity of orbits. (32)
It also successfully launched 10 satellites at a time in April 2008 by making a new world record previously held by Russia. (33)
3: Geo synchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV):
It is also an expandable launch system to enable India to launch its INSAT type satellites in to the orbit by making India less depending on other foreign rockets. It is the ISRO’s heaviest SLV which is capable of five tons payload to low earth orbit. (34)
4: Geo synchronous satellite launch vehicle Mark III (GSLV):
It is a launch vehicle under development by ISRO which is capable to launch heavy satellites in geostationary orbits. Due to this development India will become non dependent for heavy lifting on foreign rockets. Its first flight is schedule in 2011. (35)
Satellites launched by South Asian Countries:
Till 2008 India launched 34 satellites indigenously or by other countries help. On the other hand Pakistan has launched 5 payloads in the orbits. Where as China has launched 83 payloads. (36)
Areas of concern:
In December 2006indian defense establishment conducted the first test of its missiles defense capabilities, in which an interceptor PAD destroyed a Prithvi SRBM at a height of roughly 50 Km. DRDO chief M Nataranjan stated that it was a major achievement of India although he acknowledged it would be some time before India might possess an anti-satellite capability.(37) Following the PAD anti-missile test, India conducted 13th test of BrahMos cruise missile. However it has not been able to develop a military satellite for the armed forces, along -standing demand of the latter. The military satellite projects being developed in cooperation with ISRO (38)
When India will achieve its aims of armed forces military satellites that would be a highly vulnerable time for Pakistan.
How Pakistan can respond:
Pakistan is surrounded by two symbiotic (China & India) and also Iran who is struggling in missile and space program. These countries have affected missile systems and satellite networks. To counter with these elements Pakistan must have an effective missile delivery system as well as effective missile defense systems. Both of these systems could not achieve the maximum results without any military satellite network. Reconnaissance and spying of the ground based troops, their movements and jamming or intercepting enemy’s network. All these elements based on spy satellites. To monitor the launch of enemy’s ballistic missile we should get thermal imaging capable satellites. In modern warfare systems all the three services should be interlinked with the battle fields with the help of sensors radars and communication satellites for the early warning and central command and control. Smart weapons like JADAMs their acquiring will be an asset for air force in this expensive race.
Economic effects of space race between India and Pakistan:
The ISRO will receive 57.78 billion rupees ($1.25 bn) for 2010.its a 38 % increase over last year. 21 billion Rs will go to launch vehicle technology development while satellite technology will receive 10 billion Rs, a 45 % increase over the 2009 fund.(http//:www.space.com/news/india-space-budget-increase-sn-100315.html)
Budget of SUPARCO in 2009 was 3.12 billion rupees for its four on going projects in the next fiscal year.
Rs 1.764 billion for PakSat-1R. Rs 100 million for the development of environment validation and testing (EVT) Satellite. Rs 84 for intelligence development and capacity building in satellite engineering and technology etc. (39)
Both (India& Pakistan) are the nations with one of the poorest populations in the world who are investing billions of dollars into space missions and satellite launches. Instead to over come the poverty both are neglecting the core issue.
Pakistan has no comparison with India in space race and without a doubt Pakistan can not afford the space race.
How Indian developments are being seen by international world especially China and USA:
The India Space Program considered being a sign of an Indian effort which can maintain some measure of equality with China on the world stage or to create its own claim to great power status. Because it’s still behind China. There has been increasing debate of an Asian space race among China, India, and Japan to explore the lunar surface. India has over 40 years of experience in space and has achieved a comparatively strong and mature capability in space applications. In technological terms, Indian space program is roughly comparable with China’s program except in human spaceflight and exploration. While India spends a bit more than Russia does on its space program. The percentage of GDP that India devotes to space is second to USA. India moves to advance internationalize space exploration and any cooperation with USA or Russia, will have a major impact on space exploration throughout the next decade and beyond.
Although India can’t have strategic parity with China, but the Chinese ASAT test has highlighted a new Indian vulnerability, as the country is about to develop in coming years modern military observation and communication satellites. Conflict between India and Pakistan, with the potential of nuclear armed missiles exchange remains a source of international concern. In such conflict , to de-escalate the crisis’ China can provide reconnaissance to Pakistan, of Indian troops movements and mobile- missile deployments would be crucial for india. While using its ASAT on behalf of its ally to blind India could be a serious concern for India. To counter these threats India can seek reinforce intelligence ties to USA and Russia to use their capabilities which China might be reluctant to target. (40)
As the comparison of India and Pakistan we can clearly see that India’s space and nuclear program is going by every means. Whether it is spying satellites or deployments of other countries spy satellites like Israel or its anti- satellite programs. All these areas of concerns destabilized the integrity of Pakistan as well as other countries like Iran and China.
International community can create obstacle in permissions and clearances for Pakistan’s nuclear and missiles due to Israel and Indian influence on world community. But the thing is that India has a clear intention to advance its space and nuclear program, Pakistan will have to take countermeasures which will include deploying its own satellites and there is risks that in this respect may it provoke a space race that neither can afford.
3: history of SUPARCO
9: history of SUPARCO
16: (http//:en.wikipedea.org/wiki/space and Upper atmosphere –
17: Dr. D C Agaraewal: satellite communication pg 344
18:Dr. D C Agaraewal: satellite communication pg 345
19:Dr. D C Agaraewal: satellite communication pg 347
20:Dr. D C Agaraewal: satellite communication pg 350
22: (POST note December 2006 # 273)
23: Dr. D C Agaraewal: satellite communication pg 354
24:Dr. D C Agaraewal: satellite communication pg 356
25: mistry, 94-95
26: peter B de selding”india developing anti-satellite spacecrafts” space .com
27: India developing weapon systems to neutralize enemy’s satellites
Xinhua Newsagency.2010-01-03.reterived 2010 -01-03
28: http//:timesofindia.indiatimes .com/india/india-to-gear-up-4-
30:”ISRO vehicles”. Jean
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