DHAKA: The much awaited historic moment for Bangladesh is just a few hours away as the first satellite Bangabandhu-1 to be launched to space early Friday.
The flagship satellite of the country will start its journey towards the orbit from SpaceX launch station Florida.
Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology Ministry said the satellite will be launched at US local time 4:12pm to 6:22pm (Bangladesh time 2:12 am-4:22am early Friday).
State minister for Information Tarana Halim, who went to the US to see the launch, posted a photo in facebook saying, “Satellite, launcher and launching pad all are ready for thrust. It will be launched at 4:22pm if everything goes right.”
BTV, the state-owned television of Bangladesh, will broadcast the event live from US. The government has also taken initiative to broadcast the event across the country.
SpaceX, a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company, will launch the satellite using a Falcon-9 rocket as its carrier.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) said an experimental launch of the Falcon-9 rocket was successfully completed from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 4.
State Minister for Information Taran Halim, State Minister for ICT Junaid Ahmed Palak, BTRC Chairman Dr. Shahjahan Mahmud and other senior government officials went to Florida to see the launch. The exterior shell of the satellite contains the words- “Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu”.
Visitors can see the take-off with their own eyes within five kilometres of the launch pad. The 3.7-tone satellite will travel vertically up to 36,000km from the launch pad before making adjustments for orbit and it will take ten days for that.
It will take about 20 days to bring the satellite under complete control. Once it is completely operational, the control will be transferred to the ground stations in Bangladesh.
Bangabandhu-1 has 40 transponders, one equivalent to 36MHz spectrum. According to the plan, Bangladesh will use 20 transponders. The 20 others will be rented out to other countries.
Although Bangabandhu-1 was originally planned to be launched on December 16 last year, it was deferred due to adverse weather in Florida.
The total expenditure on Bangabandhu satellite is about Tk 2,765 crore. Bangladesh government financed Tk 1000 crore while the rest is provided by foreign aids.
BDST: 2038 HRS, MAY 10, 2018