DHAKA: Bangabandhu-I, the first communication satellite of Bangladesh, kicked off the space race finally from the United States.
The flagship satellite of the country started its journey towards orbit slot from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, the USA at 2:14 am Bangladesh time.
Falcon 9, the finest rocket of American firm SpaceX, started to carry the satellite to the orbit from the Cape Canaveral launching pad at 4:14 pm US local time.
The launching process of Bangabandhu-I satellite, however, was postponed early hours of Friday due to 'standard ground system auto abort'.
A Bangladesh delegation, led by Prime Minister's ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy, witnessed the launching of the satellite, which was visible for around seven minutes in the Florida's clear sky.
State Minister for Information Taran Halim, State Minister for ICT Junaid Ahmed Palak, BTRC Chairman Dr. Shahjahan Mahmud and other senior government officials attended the launching program in Florida.
The exterior shell of the satellite contains the words- “Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu”.
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: 0214 HRS, MAY 12, 2018