Monday, 15 October, 2018

Bangabandhu Satellite-1 Mission

Glenn Montgomery | 12 May, 2018, 21:08

Friday's flight marked the ninth SpaceX launch so far this year, compared to five orbital-class missions the company had logged at the same point in 2017, according to Musk.

The rocket's first and second stages separated about 2.5 minutes into the flight.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the launching of the country's first satellite, Bangabandhu-1, is another milestone in Bangladesh's continuous march forward.

The Prime Minister also thanked the officials who are associated with building and launch of Bangabandhu-1.

Today's launch was originally scheduled for yesterday (May 10), but a "ground system auto abort" scuttled that attempt with just 58 seconds left on the countdown clock.

Minutes later, the rocket's main-stage booster flew itself back to Earth to achieve a safe return landing on an unmanned platform vessel floating in the Pacific Ocean.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) chairman Shahjahan Mahmood earlier said Falcon-9 will pull the 3.7-tonne satellite vertically up to 36,000km from the launch pad before making adjustments for orbit.

SpaceX has landed and reflown boosters many times before.

Such activities are part of the company's efforts to develop fully and rapidly reusable rockets and spacecraft.

The Block 5's upgrades take another step in this direction. "This is quite normal for rocket launches as you can not take any risk", he said.

NASA will require seven successful flights of the Falcon 9 Block 5 before flying astronauts on the rocket.

SpaceX's newest rocket, the Falcon 9 Force 5, propelled the satellite into orbit. "This rocket is really created to be - the intent is to be the most reliable rocket ever built". "With launching of Bangabandhu Satellite-1, we're hoisting our national flag in the space".

Musk says he hopes to produce 30 to 50 Block 5s for the Falcon 9.

The rocket is slated to take off from SpaceX's launchpad at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite will eventually travel to a path 22,000 miles above Earth, where it will provide telecommunications coverage for Bangladesh and surrounding areas.

In September 2016, Bangladesh signed a 14-billion-taka (about 180 million USA dollars) loan agreement with the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) to finance the country's first-ever satellite "Bangabandhu-I". It will be the country's first communications satellite at such a high altitude.

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