DHAKA, May 7, 2018 – Bangladesh’s first communication satellite “Bangabandhu-I” will be launched to the orbit on May 10, said an official here today.
“Bangabandhu-I will be launched at 4pm local time (BST 2am Friday) from the Cape Canaveral launching pad in Florida by Falcon 9 rocket of American firm SpaceX,” Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Senior Assistant Director M Zakir Hossain Khan told BSS.
A “fire test” of Falcon 9 rocket was successfully conducted, he said, adding “after analyzing the data collected from the test, the final date has been fixed.”
Earlier, Bangabandhu-I was scheduled to launch on May 4 from Florida, but it was deferred to May 7 for technical reason, and now the new date is May 10.
Bangabandhu-I project Manager Mohammad Mesbah Uzzaman said necessary works in ground station are in final stage while other formalities have been completed.
He said Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX will lift the 3.5-metric tonne Bangabandhu-I communications satellite from the Cape Canaveral launching pad and it will take eight days to reach its orbital slot.
Manufactured by the Thales Alenia Space of France, Bangladesh will operate satellite from 119.1 degree East using a payload comprising 14 C-Band and 26 Ku-Band transponders to deliver focused telecommunications coverage to Bangladesh. One transponder is equivalent to 36 MHz.
SpaceX had previously planned to launch the satellite using Falcon-9 rockets on December 16, 2017, but the launch was postponed due to damage from Hurricane Irma.
Bangabandhu-I project was endorsed by the government in May 2015, and it assigned the Thales Alenia by signing a $248- million deal in November same year.
Thales Alenia completed the manufacturing works of Bangabandhu-I few months ago and kept it in a warehouse in Cannes of France. On March 29, the satellite was shitted to Florida.
Two ground stations for controlling the satellite have already been built at Joydebpur of Gazipur and Rangamati’s Betbunia.
The satellite has 15 years for mission life span while another 3 years for its design.
Ku-band will cover Bangladesh and its territorial area of the Bay of Bengal, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines. On the other hand, C-band will cover Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and portions of Kazakhstan.
Bangabandhu-I will offer video services for Direct-to-Home (DTH), e-learning, Tele-medicine, Family Planning, Farming etc while voice service to cellular backhaul and disaster recovery, etc and data service for internet, SCADA, SOHO as well as business-to-business (VSAT) etc.