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Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Elon Musk's newest rocket blasts off

Elon Musk's newest rocket blasts off

The launch also marked a milestone for the company SpaceX, who was contracted to carry out the launch itself.

"The satellite will open up a wide range of opportunities for Bangladesh among which broadcasting services, weather forecasting services and high-speed internet connectivity in hard-to-reach areas".

"The Bangabandhu satellite will help to make Bangladesh an advanced country", Shahjahan Mahmood, chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, which will manage the satellite, told the Dhaka Tribune.

Unfolding a new page of the nation's proud history, Bangladesh on Friday joined the Space Age by successfully launching the Bangabandhu Communications Satellite-1 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

In a televised message on Saturday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said: "The Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will be a great addition to our information technology, heralding our entry into the satellite club of the world". The emblem of Bangladesh's government decorated the exterior of the capsule holding the satellite.

It marks the first flight of the Block 5 batch of Falcon 9 rockets, which incorporate a number of upgrades to improve performance, increase the service life of the booster and reduce turnaround time between recovery and relaunch.

Ku-band covers Bangladesh and its territorial area of the Bay of Bengal, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines.

NASA is requiring SpaceX to launch the Falcon 9 Block rocket at least seven times before allowing people on it.

The 3.9-ton satellite traveled to a path 22,000 miles above Earth and went into orbit at 4:52 p.m. Bangabandhu-1 is our first own satellite, which is now on its way to orbit. Prime Minister's ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy said in a Facebook status. It is predicted that with the launch of Bangabandhu-1, this cost will significantly decrease.

The satellite will be controlled from Joydebpur in Gazipur, near the capital, and another ground station in Rangamati Betbunia, in south-eastern Bangladesh, will be used as an alternative.

SpaceX on Friday blasted off its newest and most powerful Falcon 9 rocket, known as the Block 5, carrying the first high-orbit communications satellite for Bangladesh and marking a leap forward in re-usability for the California-based aerospace company.

In November 2015, Bangladesh signed a 19.51-billion-taka (about 248 million U.S.dollars) deal with French firm Thales Alenia Space for the satellite project.

The last successful mission was NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). On the other hand, Bangladesh can earn foreign currency by renting the Bangabandhu-1 transponders to other countries. "Bangladesh is on the path to conquer the space", he tweeted in Bangla before the launch.

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