Sounding Rockets

In order to study the effects of upper atmosphere phenomena on human life on earth and to conduct scientific experiments in near-space and microgravity environments suborbital flights are carried out utilizing scientific rockets. The valuable data thus acquired is used for the study and development in almost the entire spectrum of fields affecting the quality of human life. These areas include, but not limited to, aeronomy, aerology, agriculture, biology, medicine, materials, ozone, environment, climate change, technical development, etc

SUPARCO has the requisite expertise and facilities to develop scientific rockets without incurring any investment in the infrastructure development.

SUPARCO since its inception in 1962 had been launching scientific rockets in order to gather scientific data of upper atmosphere. The data thus acquired formed the basis of various studies in space sciences. These studies were presented and published at various national and international foras and conferences, respectively. Resultantly, SUPARCO reflected its true identity as a National Space Agency of Pakistan in the world space community. However, these flights were discontinued in late 1990s. The revival of scientific rocket flights will enable data pertaining to our own region for the scientific community to work on. Such data can be made available to academia and other organizations like, PMD for their research and studies.

In addition, these scientific flights also provided means to flight test and validate various space technologies, and materials in the space environment. This process enabled SUPARCO to harness critical space related technologies including INS, GNC systems, Onboard systems, HTBP propellant, etc. Technologies developed after the discontinuation of scientific flights such as, segmented joints, composite motors, flexi seal nozzle, etc could not be flight tested and validated

Because of its low cost and short lead time, scientific rockets testing is invaluable to researchers, technologists and academia. Through scientific rocket program, the scientific rocket program will boost the National Space Program by providing important technical, scientific and educational contributions.

Following research areas are envisaged through sounding rocket flights;

  1. Atmospheric Physics (vapour trail, neutral composition/density,temperature,pressure)
  2. Energetic particles(terrestrially trapped radiation, particle precipitation)
  3. Biology (effect of Microgravity on living organism)
  4. Plants growth and Morphology
  5. Protein crystallization studies
  6. Plants growth and Morphology
  7. Protein crystallization studies
  8. Planetology (including zodiacal light)
  9. Meteorology