Bangabandhu-1 satellite launched by Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket

Bangabandhu-1 satellite launched by Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX successfully launched its upgraded ‘Block 5’ Falcon 9 rocket Friday afternoon, carrying Bangladesh’s first satellite into orbit. The company had aborted its first attempt to launch the rocket on Thursday.
Falcon 9 took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., at 4:15 p.m. Flight controllers watched as the rocket took off without a hitch, successfully completing each stage of the mission.
The satellite launch, done on behalf the Bangladesh government, will allow internet access to all corners of the country.
The successful takeoff comes one day after the company was forced to abort its first launch attempt. With less than a minute remaining before a scheduled launch, the countdown came to an abrupt stop because of a technical problem that caused an automatic abort.
The updated rocket is designed to be reusable, which would drastically reduce costs of trips to space.
SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk says the improved boosters can be reused more than 10 times each and require little or no work between launches. He has said that his goal is to launch the same booster twice within 24 hours.
SpaceX is slated to launch the first high-orbit communications satellite ever for the country of Bangladesh, and the company is using its most advanced Falcon 9 yet for the job. Called Bangabandhu-1, the satellite is riding into space on top of SpaceX’s Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket. It’s the last and most powerful version of the Falcon 9 that SpaceX plans to make, as the company switches its focus to developing a new giant rocket and spaceship combo, the BFR.
The Block 5 sports numerous upgrades designed to make the rocket easier to reuse. Thanks to the changes, the Block 5 shouldn’t require as much time or effort to be made flight-ready again once it lands. And this particular rocket will be showing off its landing skills after the flight. The first stage of the Falcon 9 will return to Earth following launch and attempt a touchdown on one of SpaceX’s autonomous drone ships in the Atlantic Ocean.
But the primary goal of the mission is to get Bangabandhu-1 into orbit. The satellite will eventually travel to a path 22,000 miles above Earth, where it will provide telecommunications coverage for Bangladesh and surrounding areas. It’s the first time the country will send a communications satellite to this high of an orbit.
The rocket is slated to take off from SpaceX’s launchpad at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX originally tried to take off on Thursday, but the flight was aborted just a minute before launch due to an issue with ground systems. Now, the company will try to take off Friday, May 10th, during a launch window that runs roughly two hours, from 4:14PM to 6:21PM ET. Weather may be a little iffy, though; there’s a 60 percent chance of good conditions.
SpaceX’s coverage of the launch will begin around 20 minutes before takeoff, so check back then to see the most powerful Falcon 9 ever go to space.
This satellite will bring enormous development & uninterrupted telecommunication System in Bangladesh especially in television, telephone & Internet service which Bangladesh usually purchase from overseas.
At present Bangladesh is spending annually more than $14 million on satellite rent to ensure connectivity of television, radio, telephone and Internet. So this satellite will make Bangladesh self-contained & Bangladesh will also earn some foreign currency by broadcasting service.
India & Pakistan have their own satellites, Sri-Lanka is in queue. So Bangladesh rent service to Nepal, Myanmar or Bhutan & may earn more than $50 million per year.
Finally communication system of Bangladesh will get new progression of development. This satellite will give Bangladesh a long term service to a large scalability, global availability, reliability, versatility & super performance.
Some sectors like telemedicine, e-learning, e-researchs, video conference, defence & disaster management system will be improved for this satellite in Bangladesh.
In BS-1 The priority satellite applications are:
Direct to Home (DTH)
VSAT
Backhaul and Trunking
Network Restoration
Disaster Preparedness and relief
By these sectors Bangladesh depends on foreign satellites now. Which costs us around 14M per year. This Huge cost will be avoided and moreover by renting some frequency broadband we will earn sufficient amount.
The Primary Service Area (PSA): Once launched, Bangabandhu-1 will save this annual cost, and bring in foreign currency by leasing out half its capacity to SAARC nations, as well as countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, if the frequencies are properly coordinated.
The telecom regulator hopes to break even in seven years. The satellite will narrow the digital divide, as it will help take broadcast and telecom services to rural areas, and allow the launch of some lucrative ventures like direct-to-home services throughout the country.
 Bangladesh is all set to join the space club when its first communications satellite is launched into space using the Falcon-9 rocket on Thursday from the Kennedy Space Centre, Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. The satellite bears the symbolic name of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
An upgraded version of the Falcon-9 rocket, made by SpaceX, will be used for the launch. The satellite will empower the economy of Bangladesh through revenue generation from the new sectors and usher in a new digital era for Bangladesh.
The Bangabandhu-1 satellite weighs over 3500 kilograms and will carry 40 Ku and C band transponders which will help in direct-to-home transmission and provide V-sat services to Bangladesh including phone services, backhaul, radio, direct-to-home TV and Internet. This geostationary satellite will finally hover over Bangladesh but will have a much larger footprint, even covering India.
Bangladesh will now join Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and India to own its communications satellite. Pakistan is also gearing up to launch its first communications satellite called Pakistan Multi-Mission Satellite (PakSat- MM1). In South Asia, only India has the capability to launch its own satellites. Incidentally, Bangladesh could not have used the services of the Indian rockets as the Bangabandhu-1 satellite it is launching is heavy and India’s larger rockets are still not ready for commercial hiring.
The satellite has been ordered by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission at a cost of about $ 250 million. The satellite has been made by Thales Alenia which is a Franco-Italian aerospace manufacturer located in Cannes, France.
In 2017, India had made available for its neighbours the South Asia Satellite from this communications satellite one transponder was to be used on a dedicated basis by Bangladesh. The South Asia Satellite is a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi since it was he who ‘gifted’ the satellite for India’s neighbours. It is not clear how much of the ground infrastructure Bangladesh has put up for the effective utilisation of the services of the South Asia Satellite. But from the beginning itself Bangladesh was dragging its feet and now it seems clear why they were slow in uptake of India’s largesse as they were getting ready to fly their own bird in space.
The Bangabandhu-1 satellite will have a life of 15 years and a statement by Thales Alena says “its coverage area includes Bangladesh and surrounding regions. Positioned at 119.1 Degrees East, the system will provide Ku-band coverage for Bangladesh and its territorial waters in the Bay of Bengal, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Indonesia. It will also provide C-band capacity for the entire region.”
This should be worrying for India since now there will be commercial competition from a neighbour who could provide competitive pricing for satellite-based services. Till now, most of the satellite-based services for the region were hired by India’s neighbours on Indian satellites. India will not only lose out on earnings but with a competitor in the offing pricing of Indian satellite based services may also take a hit.
Thales Alena which is providing a kind of a turnkey offer of end-to-end services says in statement that “once Bangabandhu satellite-1 is operational, Bangladesh will be autonomous in terms of telecommunications and broadcasting services, being able to offer communications services to many foreign countries such as Nepal, Myanmar or Bhutan under its coverage area.”
In addition, on November 30, 2017 Bangladesh made another big leap in use of high technology when it began construction of two nuclear power plants at Rooppur, these 1200 MW plants will be made with Russian assistance. Costing about $ 13 billion, these will be ready in the next five years.
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