SpaceX rocket ready for launch. (SpaceX)
Country’s first satellite will provide TV, telephone, weather, emergency and other telecommunications services.
“Bangabandhu-1,” a telecommunications satellite named after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh’s founding father, successfully launched from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., May 11, at 4:14 p.m. It was placed into orbit atop a reusable Falcon 9 Force 5 rocket made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company.
“This is a historic occasion, which is a matter of great pride for the people of Bangladesh within the country and beyond,” said Mohammad Ziauddin, Bangladesh’s ambassador to the U.S. “This also reflects the impressive socioeconomic development Bangladesh has achieved under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.”
The $250 million telecommunications satellite, which will provide television, telephone, data, internet and emergency communications services to residents of the country, will achieve geostationary orbit at a distance of 22,000 miles from Earth. The satellite will provide key data to the government’s weather service and defense sector and enable uninterrupted emergency communications in the event of natural disasters.
Currently, Bangladesh rents the services of foreign satellites, costing the nation about $14 million annually. Bangabandhu-1 will eliminate that cost. The satellite is expected to have a 15-year lifespan.