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Launch of Bangabandhu-1 satellite deferred to March

  • Published at 07:43 pm November 29th, 2017
  • Last updated at 07:48 pm November 29th, 2017
Launch of Bangabandhu-1 satellite deferred to March
Bangladesh's first satellite, Bangabandhu-1, will be launched into orbit in March next year, two months after it was originally scheduled to be deployed. Confirming the news to reporters, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood said: "Manufacture of the satellite has been completed. Now we are waiting for a schedule to launch it to orbit." The regulatory body chief also visited the manufacturer, Thales Alenia Space, in France. The satellite will be transported to Florida’s Cape Canaveral for launch. "A precise date has not been fixed yet, but the launch is probable in March," the BTRC chairman added.
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When asked about the reason for the delay, Shahjahan Mahmood said bad weather and scheduling problems were the root causes. Earlier, the possible launch of the satellite was set in December this year before being moved to January, and it has now been deferred to March. Meanwhile, at a press briefing on Wednesday, State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Tarana Halim said the government will announce the precise date for the launch after getting confirmation from Space X, a space transport service which is responsible for launching the satellite into orbit. In November 2015, the BTRC signed a $248 million deal with Thales Alenia Space to manufacture and launch the country's first satellite. The orbital slot on 119.1 degree east longitude was bought from Russian satellite company "Intersputnik" for $28 million last year. The satellite will have 40 [1 transponder= 36 MHz] transponders, which will be able to serve Saarc member countries, Indonesia and the Philippines, as well as Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Under the project, two earth stations will be set up at Joydebpur in Gazipur and Betbunia in Rangamati. Bangladesh spends around $14 million annually on satellite rent, for the running of television channels, telephones and radio connectivity. Once launched, the Bangabandhu-1 satellite will save between Tk110 to Tk120 crore for broadcasting expenditure annually.
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