DHAKA, April 11, 2018 (BSS) – Bangladesh’s first communication satellite Bangabandhu-I is set to launch to the orbit on May 4 next by the American firm SpaceX from Florida.
“Today, SpaceX confirmed us that Bangabandhu Satellite would be launched to the orbit on May 4 next,” project director of the satellite Mohammad Mesbah Uddin told BSS.
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.
American private space flight and technology company SpaceX, which is assigned to launch the satellite, received it on March 30 and carried out all necessary works for launch, said the project director. “Now, they (SpaceX) are doing last moment fine-tuning.”
Manufactured by the Thales Alenia Space of France, Bangladesh will operate satellite from 119.1o 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.
Officials said 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.
They said the Bangabandhu-I Satellite project endorsed by the government in May 2015, and 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. Later, 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.
Earlier, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood told BSS that 20 transponders would be deployed for domestic users while the remaining would be sold in international market. The satellite has 15 years for mission life span while another 3 years for its design.
Officials said 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.