Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

SpaceX launches Bangladesh's first communications satellite

SpaceX launches Bangladesh's first communications satellite

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted the communication satellite, named after the Bangladesh founder, early in the morning from Cape Canaveral in Florida, bdnews24.com reported.

An updated version of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for the company's ninth launch so far this year, has been tailored for eventual crewed missions for NASA.

The recoverable Block-5 booster is created to be reused at least 10 times with minimal refurbishment between flights, allowing more frequent launches at lower cost - a key to the SpaceX business model.

The rocket's first stage was successfully recovered, landing on the "Of Course I Still Love You" offshore droneship, about 8 minutes after the launch.

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Falcon 9 is scheduled to be certified by NASA for launching human beings. That's more than half of the estimated overall $62 million price of the Falcon 9, according to various trade publications.

The first stage of the booster safely separated from the rest and it landed on a platform in the ocean. Then again, the notoriously fickle chap has also said he wants to begin retrieving the second stage of the Falcon, which would entail some major design changes in the future.

SpaceX's Block 5 rocket blasted-off successfully on Friday afternoon. He has said that his goal is to launch the same booster twice within 24 hours. These upgrades provide the rocket with about 8 percent and 5 percent more thrust, respectively, compared to the "Block 4".

The launch also marked a milestone for the company SpaceX, who was contracted to carry out the launch itself. It's predicted to function as first SpaceX motor vehicle to satisfy NASA's standards for its Commercial Crew method to hold agency astronauts into the International Space Station.

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Talking about the benefits of the Tk 2,765.66 crore satellite, project officials said it would immensely contribute to the digital advancement of the country.

"Once Bangabandhu Satellite-1 is operational, Bangladesh will be autonomous in terms of telecommunications and broadcasting services, being able to offer communications services to many foreign countries, such as Nepal, Myanmar or Bhutan under its coverage area", stated Thales Alenia Space representatives.

In September 2016, Bangladesh signed a 14-billion-taka (about 180 million USA dollars) loan agreement with the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) to finance the country's first-ever satellite "Bangabandhu-I". "With launching of Bangabandhu Satellite-1, we are hoisting our national flag in the space", reports Reuters.

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