Connect with us

Expert Reviews

How Pakistan’s Space Agency SUPARCO beat ISRO in Space Race?



Why Pakistan’s Space Agency SUPARCO was left behind by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) despite being at least a decade ahead? What went wrong with SUPARCO which was first of its kind space agency in the sub-continent, leaving behind both China and India?

There were a number of developments that happened globally in the year 1961. This was the year when the United States elected their new charismatic president John F Kennedy. The same year the USSR sent its first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, and it was in the year 1961 when India initiated its third five-year plan.

Something equally important was also happening in Pakistan in the same year. This was the year when the great renowned physicist Abdus Salam was convincing the Pakistan President Ayub Khan to set up National Space Agency in Pakistan. Abdus Salam is considered the founder of Pakistan’s space programme as he initiated the space research in Pakistan when India’s space programme was not even planned.

Five Chinese Supplied Weapons To Pakistan That Pose A Big Threat To India

The space program was approved by Ayub Khan, and Pakistan established its first space agency in 1961. This was first of its kind agency in the sub-continent, leaving behind both China and India.

The starting years of the SUPARCO were full of hope and determination. In fact, four scientists were also sent to NASA to study the space technology. Two years after SUPARCO was established, Pakistan launched its first rocket from a range off the Karachi coast. This was done with the help of NASA. After Israel and Japan, Pakistan became the third proud country to launch a rocket in Asia.

In spite of commencing the space programme eight years before India’s Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), SUPARCO is considered to be decades behind India in terms of both the technology and mission success. The Indian space agency, ISRO recently, broke the world record by sending 104 satellites and has already launched missions to Moon and Mars, while SUPARCO has almost become redundant.

What Happened to SUPARCO – Subcontinent’s Oldest Space Agency?

There was little funding and great indifference from the government to enhance the condition of SUPARCO. Later, the government shifted all the funds associated with SUPARCO to the atomic bomb project due to which Pakistan’s space agency failed to take off.

How Tagore Stumped Allama Iqbal to Win Nobel Prize in Literature?

Later, between 1980 and 1990, the Pakistani president Zia-ul-Haq further withdrew the funding to the space agency, and also replaced the scientists. The focus of Pakistan was just to counter the rising threat of India. SUPARCO lacked adequate funding, genuine interest and political vision to improve the condition of subcontinents oldest space agency.

SUPARCO-Abdus Salam

SUPARCO Founder – Abdus Salam

The founder of Pakistanis space programme, Abdus Salam was the first Pakistani, and the first Muslim to receive a Nobel Prize in Science and Technology, and only the second Muslim to receive the Nobel Prize.

Despite his enormous accomplishments and international adulation, Abdus Salam was never idolized in Pakistan as he belonged to highly persecuted Ahmadiyya sect. Many top politicians, religious leaders, and bureaucrats in Pakistan also opposed Abdus Salam leading a prestigious programme.

While ISRO launched its first communications satellite and started the technology sharing programs with several countries including the USSR, Pakistan’s SUPARCO just lacked political vision and funding, to counter the Indian ISRO.

Even today, SUPARCO has not been able to do much; mainly due to low education level in Pakistan, lack of political interest, and most importantly scarce funding. The space agency is now counting its hopes on a Mission 2040 – by when they aim to have their own satellite making and launching capabilities. Whether the oldest space agency in the subcontinent will meet its target is again a big question.

More News at EurAsian Times




Mig25Foxbat Mig25Foxbat
Featured5 hours ago

Meet The Russian Fighter Jet That Can Out-Do The F-22 Raptors, F-35 Jets Even After 60 Years

With the United States using their spy planes to enter foreign airspace and conduct mass espionage over the USSR during...

ashar-ghani ashar-ghani
Featured11 hours ago

Afghanistan, Turkmenistan Sign Deal On TAPI Pipeline Which Includes India & Pakistan

Turkmenistan and Afghanistan on Wednesday signed documents to promote the implementation of joint infrastructure projects, according to Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry...

Americas13 hours ago

India-Pakistan War Much More ‘Imminent & Beneficial’ For Delhi Than A Conflict With China – Top US Analyst

India has been on the edge of a potential war with two of its neighbours – China and Pakistan. While...

Modi-Government Modi-Government
Featured13 hours ago

Is India Under PM Modi Drifting Away From Gandhi’s Non-Violent Doctrine?

Coinciding the birth anniversary of India’s freedom icon, Mahatma Gandhi on Friday, experts say his values of non-violent resistance have...

Europe18 hours ago

Like India, Greece To Equip Its Rafale Fighter Jets With HAMMER Missiles?

HAMMER (Highly Agile and Manoeuvrable Munition Extended Range) missiles are air to ground precision-guided missiles developed by Safran Electronics &...

F-15EX-india F-15EX-india
Americas1 day ago

Forget F-16s & F-35s, This Is The World’s Deadliest Fighter Jet With 100 Kills, Without A Single Loss

Over the years, the United States has developed a strategic military partnership with Israel by equipping them with the world’s...

putin-russia putin-russia
EurAsian Region1 day ago

Russian Sukhoi Su-34 Jet Displays ‘Path-Breaking’ Capabilities; Makes Its First Flight Into The Stratosphere

Russian fighter-bomber aircraft Su-34 carried out a night-time combat exercise reaching to the heights of 15 kilometers at lower stratospheric...

Putin-Macron Putin-Macron
Europe1 day ago

French President Emmanuel Macron Blames Azerbaijan For Starting Conflict With Armenia

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday voiced solidarity with Armenia amid its conflict with Azerbaijan over disputed Upper Karabakh region....

Israel-Turkey Israel-Turkey
Europe1 day ago

Greece Turning Into Another Israel: The Way US Backed Israel, EU Is Supporting Greece – Turkish Experts

With growing military confrontations in the Eastern Mediterranean between Greece and Turkey, several European Union (EU) nations have got itself...

Indian-Flag Indian-Flag
Featured1 day ago

200,000 Muslim Children Disappeared From Uttarakhand Overnight: Another Smear Campaign Or Truth?

A news is getting viral on WhatsApp and Social media in India which EurAsian Times has access to. The news...