Zenit-2 rocket ready for launch.jpg
The Badr-B (Urdu: بدر-۲‎; also known as Badr-II, meaning Full Moon-2) is the second spacecraft and the first earth observation satellite launched into Earth orbit on 10 December 2001 at 09:15 by the SUPARCO — Pakistan's national space agency.[2] Badr-B is a microsatellite, with a mass of ~70 kg, and contained the computerized system to conduct the studies on the gravity gradient. Badr-B is a research satellite to explore the upper atmosphere and the near space, and carried a large array of instruments for geophysical research.[2]

The Badr-B payload was equipped with several CCD cameras, compact dosimeter, a telemetry system, charge detector and a temperature control unit.[2] It is intended to complete and update the Islamabad Mission Control Center (IMCC), and to test the remote sensing CCD instruments.[2]

The Badr-B project was launched by Suparco in 1992, following the success of the Badr-I in 1990.[3] The programme was funded by Science Ministry and the construction of the programme was completed in Instrumentation Laboratories in Karachi. The United Kingdom's Space Innovations Limited, plc (SIL) also joined this programme in 1993 as it had constructed the instrumentation of this satellite.[4] The Badr-B was slightly bigger than the Badr-I as compared to weight and mass.[clarification needed] Most of the equipment was developed at the DESTO and the spacecraft designing took place in Instrumentation Laboratories in Karachi. Space Innovations Limited took contributed technical assistance required for assembling the Badr-B.[4] A Mission control center was established at Islamabad where several supercomputers and its systems were installed by Space Innovations Limited. In 1995, a computer system and the system software was designed and installed by Pakistan Software Export Systems (PSES) while COMSATS helped installing the large computer screen at the Islamabad mission control center.[5] Overall, the work on Badr-B was completed in 1996 by Suparco and it was originally planned to launch from Tilla Launch Complex but it was objected as the country had no launch facility at that time.[5] The CCD cameras were developed by the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) who took the interest in the development of the Badr-B in 1995.[4]

Badr-B was developed in 1996 but the delay of Russian space-rocket put the satellite on hold for more than 4 years.[6] Abdul Qadeer Khan unsuccessfully attempted to launch the satellite from the Sonmiani Launch Complex which was denied by the government at that time.[7] In 2001, the Air Force Strategic Command flew the Badr-B to Kazakhstan where it was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on 10 December 2001 abroad a Ukrainian Zenit-2 rocket.[4]

The economic cost of the Badr-B is not publicly known but it is estimated to be more costly than the first satellite, Badr-I.[6] For its design, the Badar-B is far more complex and sophisticated than the first satellite.[5] The external body of the Badr-B is made of Space grade Aluminium alloy with a total mass of 70 kg.[5] Badr-B was launched in a sun-synchronous orbit of 1050 km with an earth orbital period of 106 minutes.[5] Badr-B is a cube with side dimensions of 510 mm x 510 mm x 465 mm and a gravity gradient vector system to stabilize the satellite to its mission control centre.[5] A typical orbital and terminal pass over to country's space orbit entry would last between 10 and 15 minutes.[5]

Badr-B internal structure was made of space qualified aluminium T-6 alloy.[8] The gallium arsenide (GaAs) solar arrays were used to provide and generate the electronic power during the sunlit periods.[8] The nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries stored power for use during the eclipse periods.[8] Earth pointing single axis stabilization was achieved by the use of a 6 m gravity gradient boom with a trip mass of 4 kg.[8]

The Suparco set its deadline to launch the satellite in 1994 but, due to the satellite being upgraded time passed and Suparco lost the space orbital entry slot.[6] Suparco then planned to Badr-B in 1995 or as early of 1996 but did not materialize the plan.[6] By 1996, Badr-B was completed and was ready to launch but due to upcoming elections in 1997, the plan was put on hold.[6] Since Suparco has no launch complex, it began to hold talks with China and Russia at the lowest rate.[6] In 1998, following the restrictions applied on Pakistan after it had conducted atomic tests (See Chagai-I and Chagai-II), Suparco was unable to launch the satellite, therefore putting the satellite in storage.[5]

Delaying of the satellite's launch programme further frustrated the scientific community, therefore, Government of Pakistan launched the work on Shaheen-III and Ghauri-III expendable rockets in 1998.[5] In 2001, senior scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan approached the Pakistan Government to receive permission to launch the satellite from either Tilla Launch Complex or Sonmiani Launch Complex.[7] However, then-CMLA General Pervez Musharraf denied the request of Khan.[7]

This page was last edited on 9 July 2018, at 13:55 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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