ICUBE-Q beams back first image from lunar orbit

China hands over satellite data to Pakistan

Our Correspondent May 10, 2024
One of the first images captured of the moon by the ICUBE-Q orbiter. PHOTO: Suparco/CNSA


China on Friday delivered the data to Pakistan captured by the iCube-Qamar satellite as it beamed back the first image of Moon from the lunar orbit, two days after its entry into the moon’s orbit, marking a significant milestone in the country’s space programme.

Zhang Kejian, head of the China National Space Administration handed the data carrier over to Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Khalil Hashmi at a ceremony in Beijing. On the occasion, they also unveiled the first image taken by the satellite.

iCube-Qamar, developed by Pakistan’s Institute of Space Technology (IST), went into the space onboard China’s Chang’e-6 spacecraft on May 3 it was detached from the spacecraft and deployed into the lunar orbit on Wednesday.

The ceremony was chaired by China National Space Administration Chief Engineer Li Guoping. It was attended by representatives of the Department of International Cooperation of the China National Space Administration, the Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Centre, the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai Jiaotong University, the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission of Pakistan and the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization.

Read iCube-Qamar enters moon's orbit


At the ceremony, the Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Centre of China National Space Administration made an overall report on Chang’e-6 mission and Shanghai Jiaotong University reported on the cooperative development of the payload as the Chinese responsible unit.

ICube-Q was jointly developed by the IST and China’s Shanghai Jiaotong University. The Chang’e-6 lunar probe carried four international payloads, including ICube-Q. The ICube-Q separated from the Chang’e-6 orbiter on May 8 to carry out exploration activities, such as capturing images of the moon.


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