SpaceX Launches Bangabandhu Satellite 1 on Its Powerful Rocket Falcon 9

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| May 12 , 2018 , 10:29 IST

SpaceX on Friday launched the first high-orbit communications satellite for Bangladesh using its latest, most powerful Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket from the Launch Complex 39 of NASA’s Kennedy Space Station in Florida. The company has a 20 years lease with NASA to use Complex 39.

The satellite is named after Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the first President and the founding father of Bangladesh. His daughter Sheikh Hasina is the incumbent Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

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Falcon 9 is designed to be capable of ten flights with least amount of refurbishments and modifications. After stage separation, SpaceX will try to land the Falcon 9’s first stage on its drone ship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The drone ship is named “Of Course I still love you”.

Falcon 9 is scheduled to be certified by NASA for launching human beings.

As the deployment of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 to geostationary transfer orbit was confirmed, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “In the continuous advancement of Bangladesh another milestone is added today.”

The satellite has been built by French Thales Alenia Space, which has also developed an Ops Centre in Bangladesh to train local engineers. The company also arranged for the spacecraft’s launch on the Falcon 9.