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Bangabandhu-2 to be launched during current govt's term

  • Published at 07:26 am January 25th, 2019
Bangabandhu-1 satellite
File photo of Bangabandhu-1 satellite at Kennedy Space Centre in Florida

Bangladesh entered the space club of 57 nations with the launch of Bangabandhu-1 on May 12

The Bangabandhu-2 satellite will be launched during the current term of the government. The satellite will act as a backup for the Bangabandhu-1 satellite.

The decision was recently finalized, said Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar. "Until now, we only held talks regarding the launch of Bangabandhu-2. However, the decision has been finalized; now, we have started making final preparations," he said.

A lot of things are being taken into consideration with launching Bangabandhu-2, the minister said. "Bangabandhu-1 is just a communications satellite. However, we need to launch a satellite that can provide us information regarding the weather, climate, and geographic information system (GIS)."

Mustafa said an economically progressive country like Bangladesh cannot depend upon one satellite only.

"Our target is to send the satellite within the term of the current government," the minister said. "This time, we have the advantage of not having to start from scratch. We do not have to find a company, build a ground station, or rent an orbital slot; thus easing our journey. 

"The current orbital slot has the capacity to hold two satellites side-by-side, affiliated people have said," he added.

The nature of the satellite has not yet been finalized, Mustafa said. "Communications will definitely be featured. We need a satellite to conduct digital surveys, which we will be able to do after launching Bangabandhu-2."

Those affiliated with the project have stated that the process of launching Bangabandhu-2 might progress faster as no new orbital slot needs to be rented or bought. The orbital slot—orbital slot 119.1 degree—that Bangabandhu-1 occupies can be used to hold both satellites.

However, Bangladesh has already applied for four orbital slots at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). 

Experts think the second satellite will be launched with the provision of alternative help during disasters. Once it is launched, the commercial importance of both Bangabandhu-1 and 2 will increase, experts opined. 

Bangladesh entered the elite space club of 57 nations with the launch of its first geostationary communications satellite, Bangabandhu-1, into orbit on May 12.

The satellite was launched using the latest version of US space transport company SpaceX's upgraded Falcon 9 rocket, Block 5, from the historic Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

It was bought from Russian satellite company Intersputnik for $28 million in January 2015.

Revolving in 119.1° East longitude, the satellite provides direct-to-home (DTH) services, video distribution, and very small aperture terminal (VSAT) communications across Bangladesh.

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