Pakistan is closely collaborating with China to launch a joint space communications satellite next year in 2011 that will be a milestone in their friendship, the country's envoy in Beijing said Wednesday.
The new satellite called Paksat-1R will bring immense economic benefits to Pakistan, Pakistani Ambassador to China, Masood Khan, said.
He made the remarks while addressing an official function in Beijing to mark the anniversary of the establishment of the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC).
The agreement to launch the satellite and set up a joint communications project was reached during Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's visit to China in 2008.
The CGWIC, established in 1980, is the sole commercial organisation authorised by the Chinese government to provide satellites, commercial launch services and carry out international space cooperation.
It is actively involved in the international marketing of products and services using space technology.
As China prepares to develop Mars exploration technologies for starting a joint mission with Russia in 2011, Ambassador Khan expressed the hope that a Pakistani astronaut will travel aboard a Chinese spacecraft one day.