Bangladesh’s space ambitions are closer to reality. The Bangabandhu-1 communications satellite has been shipped to Florida for its upcoming launch. The satellite’s manufacturer, Thales Alenia Space of France, has sent it from its warehouse in Cannes for arrival on 30 March 2018.
American space launch company SpaceX, which is assigned to launch the satellite, will receive Bangabandhu-1 and carry out the necessary work for launch preparations, said project director Mohammad Mesbahuzzaman. “After receiving the cargo of the satellite SpaceX will inform us about the time of launch within 3-4 days,” he said.
Preparation of the SpaceX rocket to launch Bangabandhu-1 is in its second stage and will be completed within a few days, he added.
SpaceX will launch Bangabandhu-1 from Florida’s Cape Canaveral launch facilities. The satellite will have 40 transponders, of which 14 are in C-band and 26 in Ku-band. One transponder is equivalent to 36 MHz. The chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), Shahjahan Mahmood, has said that 20 transponders will be deployed for domestic users while the remaining will be sold on the international market.
Officials said the Ku-band beams will cover Bangladesh and its territorial water bodies of the Bay of Bengal, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Philippines. C-band beams will cover Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and portions of Kazakhstan.
The Bangabandhu-1 satellite will offer video services for Direct-to-Home (DTH) television, e-learning, tele-medicine, family planning, and farming; voice services to cellular backhaul and disaster recovery; and data service for Internet, SCADA, SOHO, as well as business-to-business services, such as Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT).
Bangladesh will be the 57th country to launch a satellite. Bangabandhu-1 will be launched into the orbital slot on 119.1 degrees east longitude; this slot was bought from Russian satellite company Intersputnik for U.S.$ 28 million in January 2015.