Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully launches Falcon 9 rocket into space

The nation's dream satellite, Bangabandhu-1, is now on its way to orbit after its flawless and successful launching last night, making Bangladesh's debut in the global space society.

SpaceX began a project to improve the Falcon-9 hardware according to NASA's instructions.

Prime Minister's ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy along with top officials of the government were watching the launch from about 2.5km away from the launch pad.

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have witnessed the milestone. Many people especially the expatriate Bangladeshis in different countries also witnessed the live telecast and webcast of the satellite launching.

Today's launch came after an abort on Thursday, which occurred at the T -1 minute mark due to a ground systems auto abort caused by a ground relay that had failed to reset after a system test.

The successful launch of the Block-5 takes the company one step closer to satisfying NASA regulations for carrying astronauts to the International Space Station.

Another first for the launch was its Bangabandhu Satellite-1 payload, which is Bangladesh's first geosynchronous communications satellite.

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Mezbahuzzaman said, "Now the process will be very slow and in phases the satellite will start its activity to complete the LEOP and the second phase is Satellite in Orbit". The LEOP phase will take 10 days while the second will take 20 days.

The satellite has been built by French Thales Alenia Space, which has also developed an Ops Centre in Bangladesh to train local engineers. It would mostly cover South Asian countries and Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkestan and a part of Kazakhstan.

Block-5 marks the final version of the Falcon 9 lineup before SpaceX introduces its super heavy-lift launch vehicle, dubbed the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, which will be created to send manned missions to Mars.

Finally, the satellite will be controlled and maintained from ground stations in Bangladesh. Along the way, the rocket also successfully deployed the Bangabandhu Satellite-1, which will provide video and broadband service for Bangladesh.

As it stands, Bangladesh spends $14 million annually to rent satellite connectivity from foreign service providers - the satellite, once it becomes functional in the next few months, will afford our economy much-needed breathing space.

Bangabandhu-1 makes a strong statement for us as a nation.


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