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SpaceX’s Most Advanced Falcon 9 Lifts First GEO Satellite for Bangladesh

By | May 14, 2018
SpaceX’s Block 5 Falcon 9

SpaceX’s Block 5 Falcon 9 rolling out to its launchpad. Photo Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX successfully launched the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 on Friday from the historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Following stage separation, the Falcon 9’s first stage successfully landed on “Of Course I Still Love You,” SpaceX’s droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Bangabandhu Satellite-1 mission is the first to use Falcon 9 Block 5, the final substantial upgrade to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle, which delivered the satellite to a geostationary transfer orbit. Approximately 33 minutes after lift-off, the spacecraft was deployed. Falcon 9 Block 5 is designed to be capable of 10 or more flights with very limited refurbishment as SpaceX continues to strive for rapid reusability and extremely high reliability.

Bangabandhu Satellite-1 is Bangladesh’s first geostationary communications satellite. Development of the satellite program, known as the “Bangabandhu Satellite Launching Project,” was managed by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) with technical support from Space Partnership International (SPI). The satellite, which is comprised of 26 Ku-band and 14 C-band transponders, was manufactured by Thales Alenia Space on the Spacebus 4000B2 platform and will be operated by the Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL).

Located at 119.1 degrees east, Bangabandhu Satellite-1 has a primary service area encompassing Bangladesh to provide Direct-to-Home (DTH) services, video distribution and Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) communications. Its Ku-band coverage includes India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Indonesia while it will also provide C-band capacity for the entire region.