“The Bangabandhu Satellite-1 mission will be the first to utilise Falcon 9 Block 5, the final substantial upgrade to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle.”
Bangladesh successfully launched its very own Bangabandhu Satellite-1 into space in collaboration with Elon Musk’s SpaceX on May 11, 2018. This is the country’s first ever communications satellite into orbit, named after the title of the father of the nation, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The satellite was designed by Thales Alenia Space for the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.
The liftoff occurred from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center 4:14 pm EDT (20:12 GMT), in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket with Bangabandhu aboard was launched from the pad at a 127-minute window. The mission was completed in a span of 33 minutes.
The Bangabandhu Satellite-1 mission is the first to utilize Falcon 9 Block 5, the final upgrade to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets. “Falcon 9 Block 5 is designed to be capable of 10 or even 100 more flights with very limited refurbishment as SpaceX continues to strive for rapid reusability and extremely high reliability, which will require little to no prep work.” Elon Musk claims. This is how the company intends to lower and save launch costs.
The rocket was headed due east over the Atlantic Ocean to deliver the satellite. After the launch, Falcon 9 Block 5 landed safely to earth on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ drone-ship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean for a future mission.
Bangabandhu Satellite-1’s mission is expected to last at least 15 years. It will provide TV, internet, direct-to-home services, video distribution and very small aperture terminal (VSAT) communications and other telecom services across Bangladesh and surrounding regions. The satellite will also provide broadband connectivity to rural regions throughout the country.
Here’s congratulating Bangladesh on its first successful mission to space.