ICUBE-Q aboard Chinese Change-6 a testament to Pakistan’s growing prowess in space exploration: Ambassador Hashmi

Islamabad: Pakistan Ambassador to China Khalil Hashmi termed initial images by Pakistan’s lunar satellite from orbit a historic day and said Pakistan’s involvement in the ICUBE-Q aboard the Chinese Change-6 probe was a testament to the nation’s growing prowess in space exploration and technology.

“This marks Pakistan’s first lunar orbital mission and showcases our advanced knowledge, design capabilities, and multidisciplinary expertise,” he said at the inaugural data delivery ceremony.

Zhang Kejian, head of the China National Space Administration handed the data carrier over to Pakistan Ambassador to China, Khalil Hashmi at a ceremony held in Beijing, said an official statement issued here.

Developed jointly by the Institute of Space Technology, Shanghai Jiaotong University, and SUPARCO, ICUBE-Q’s scientific objectives include lunar orbital mechanics, imaging, sub-system validation, and deep space communication validation.

While expressing his delight, the ambassador announced that ICUBE-Q was successfully deployed into lunar orbit on May 8, and today’s data delivery ceremony confirms its functionality and adherence to design specifications.

“This achievement reflects the dedication and technical excellence of Pakistani scientists and engineers who worked tirelessly alongside their Chinese counterparts,” he added.

He congratulated to the Chinese leadership, China National Space Administration (CNSA), and all relevant Chinese space entities on the successful launch of the Change-6 lunar probe mission.

“Personally, witnessing this historic launch at the Wenchang Space Launch Centre in Hainan on May 3 was an unforgettable moment for me,” he added.

Ambassador Hashmi said that space cooperation between China and Pakistan is a vital aspect of our bilateral relations, fostering mutual trust in the rapidly evolving space sector.

The Space Cooperation Outline 2021–2030 between SUPARCO and CNSA stands as a testament to both countries’ commitment to collaborative research, technology transfer, and resource sharing for the betterment of both nations.

With the launch of Change-6, China embarks on a new chapter. This mission aims to bring back samples from the lunar far side for the first time in human history.

Furthermore, this mission marks the beginning of Phase-I for the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), a collaborative initiative proposed by China and Russia in 2021, with an aim to establish a lunar base for research and exploration, with several partners, including Pakistan.