The upgraded Block 5 version of the SpaceX Falcon 9 has successfully launched Bangabandhu Satellite-1, Bangladesh’s first geostationary communications satellite.
On 11th May at 4:14 p.m. EDT, SpaceX successfully launched Bangabandhu Satellite-1 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage successfully landed on “Of Course I Still Love You,” SpaceX’s droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
The mission marked the first flight of Falcon 9 Block 5, which SpaceX describes as the final substantial upgrade to the Falcon 9 launch vehicle. The Block 5 is designed to be capable of 10 or more flights with very limited refurbishment.
Bangabandhu Satellite-1 is Bangladesh’s first geostationary communications satellite. 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).
Bangabandhu Satellite-1 has a primary service area encompassing Bangladesh and the surrounding region. The satellite will offer Ku-band coverage over Bangladesh and its territorial waters in the Bay of Bengal, as well as India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Indonesia. It will also provide C-band capacity for the entire region.
Located at 119.1° East, Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will provide direct-to-home (DTH) services, video distribution and very small aperture terminal (VSAT) communications across Bangladesh. The satellite will also provide broadband connectivity to rural areas throughout the country.