Bangladesh’s first telecommunications satellite Bangabandhu-1, will likely be launched in March 2018 by SpaceX’s Falcon 9, from Cape Canaveral. This is 3 months later than planned, the original launch date being 16 December 2017, supposedly due to SpaceX’s backlog.
The 3500-kg satellite, built by Thales Alenia space, was commissioned by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC ) in 2015. At that time, the date 16 December 2017 was specifically chosen to commemorate Bangladesh’s Victory Day, which BTRC said when the project commenced.
Said Md Golam Razzaque, Bangabandhu Project Director of BTRC, earlier, “We hope to carry out the launch on the 46th anniversary of our country’s Victory Day, which will be on December 16th, 2017”.
Bangabandhu-1 will be the country’s first geostationary satellite, and will be positioned at 119.1° East longitude. The satellite will take broadcasting and telecommunication services to rural areas and introduce profitable services, including direct-to-home services, across the country and over the region.
Bangabandhu-1 is built on the upgraded Spacebus 4000B2 platform, and carry 26 Ku-Band and 14 C-Band transponders. The satellite’s coverage zone encompasses the Bangladesh and the surrounding region. This system will offer capacity in the Ku-Band and C-Band over Bangladesh and India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Indonesia.
As the prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space is in charge of the design, production, testing and the delivery in orbit of the satellite. In addition, Thales will take charge of the ground segment, including two ground facilities for satellite control and network operations.