Bangladesh government’s first geostationary communications satellite, Bangabandhu Satellite-1 (BS-I) which was sent to space onboard SpaceX’s updated version of Falcon 9 rocket, known as the Block 5, has successfully completed the first stage of its launch.
The satellite took 10 days to complete the Launch and Early Orbit Phase after the SpaceX rocket blasted off from the historic Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida at around 4:14 p.m. EDT (20:14 GMT) on May 11. The second phase of the launch will take another 20 days to complete.
Saiful Alam, Managing Director of Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL), confirmed that the satellite has taken its position and started functioning normally. He added that now that the satellite has finally taken its position they will begin conducting a couple of tests before starting commercial operation within the next three months.
According to Bangladesh officials, the satellite BS-I will rotate around the Earth once in every 24 hours positioning on a height of 36,000 kilometers. The satellite has already started sending signals to the ground station. It will be mainly controlled from the Gazipur ground station while Betbunia’s ground station will be used as back up.
Once operational, the satellite, built by Thales Alenia Space Facilities in France, will provide three types of services including broadcasting, telecommunications and data communications. It will provide a wide array of services, including radio, direct-to-home TV, internet, phone services and backhaul.
Out of the 40 transponders on the satellite, Bangladesh will use 20 and rent out the rest. Notably, one transponder is equivalent to 36 MHz. The 26 Ku-Band transponders cover Bangladesh and its territorial area of the Bay of Bengal, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Philippines.
The 14 C-Band transponders cover Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Myanmar, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and some portions of Kazakhstan.