— SpaceUpClose.com — 11 May 2018
FL – Bangabandhu-1 the first ever
geostationary communications satellite for the nation of Bangladesh provided a
beautiful blastoff experience as it was carried to orbit on the first new and
improved SpaceX Falcon 9 booster Friday afternoon May 11 from the Florida Space
Coast. This revamped version of the Falcon 9 will also
launch US astronauts back to space from US soil soon.
geosatcom will greatly improve internet and TV connectivity in Bangladesh and benefit
peoples lives across Asia – especially in rural areas.
Following a 24 hour delay
caused by a last second technical glitch that halted the countdown at T Minus
45 seconds, the upgraded 23 story tall Falcon 9 lifted off right on time at
4:14 p.m. EDT (2014 GMT) from historic Launch Complex 39A at
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
foot tall (70 meter) Falcon 9 soared off seaside pad 39A into
brilliant blue skies mixed in with wispy clouds that afforded an absolutely
gorgeous sky show for spectators gathered from across the globe to witness the
pad 39 after all 9 Merlin 1D engines ignited to generate about 1.95 million
pounds of liftoff thrust- roughly 8 percent higher than the prior Block 4
version of the booster.
video from colleague Jeff Seibert:
Bangabandhu-1. Credit: Jeff Seibert
major upgrade to the Falcon 9 is dubbed the Block 5 version. The rocket on pad
39A is the first built Block 5 rocket manufactured by SpaceX after years of
painstaking and cutting edge internally funded research and development (R
& D) effort.
At a prelaunch media
telecon SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says numerous improvements built onto the Block 5
Falcon 9 will significantly increase the reliability and reusability of the
Falcon 9 including faster turnaround with less maintenance and fewer
Musk expects each Block 5 rocket to launch 10 times before
requiring any appreciable maintenance or refurbishments – thereby drastically
slashing the cost of access to space.
a 24 hour period with two different payloads.
The satellite bears the symbolic name of the Father of
the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He led the country during the
bloody war of independence from Pakistan in the early 1970s.
Rahman served as the first President of Bangladesh
until he was assassinated in 1975.
Minister and gave a live broadcast speech following the successful launch.
is the worlds 8th most populous country with a population of nearly
170 million people. Thus indigenous satellite services are sorely needed with a giant market clearly
available to tap and serve.
Space, a satellite manufacturing company based in France in their Cannes
facility for the governmental Bangladesh
Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
Bangabandhu-1 will be positioned at 119.1° East longitude some 22,500 miles (36000 km)
above the equator.
will narrow the digital divide, as it 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,’
according to the BTRC.
Canaveral on March 30 for processing by SpaceX.
is equipped with fitted with 26 Ku-Band and 14 C-Band transponders. The
satellite’s coverage zone encompasses Bangladesh and the surrounding region.
This system will offer capacity in Ku-Band over Bangladesh and its territorial
waters of the Bay of Bengal, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Philippines and
Indonesia; it will also provide capacity in C-Band over the whole region.
Artists concept of Bangabandhu-1 communications satellite.
Credit: Thales Alenia Space
ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK and more space and mission
reports direct from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,
Florida and Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.
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twitter @ken_kremer – ken