2018-05-12 09:19:48 BdST

BD's ground stations receive test signal from Bangabandhu-1


The country’s ground stations have successfully received initial test signals following the deployment of its first satellite to its geostationary orbit, State Minister for ICT Junair Ahmed Palak has said.

The test signals from the rocket were received by the groundstations in Gazipur and Betbunia after 6:25pm US Eastern Time (BST 4:25am), he said.

To deploy in the orbit, SpaceX separated Bangabandhu-1 from its second stage booster some 33 minutes after the spectacular launch in pristine conditions on the Florida coast on Friday afternoon.

Palak said the satellite was successfully deployed at Bangladesh’s specified orbit slot “within 36 minutes” of the launch.

He said that it would take another 11 days for the satellite built to purpose by European aerospace company Thales Alenia Space, to settle into its orbital slot.

Palak further revealed that the prime minister’s adviser on Information and communication technology, Sajeeb Wazed Joy, along with his young family had enjoyed the first 36 minutes (till deployment in orbit) of the launch at the head of a lively Bangladeshi contingent at the KSC visitors area, numbering around 200. 

His daughter Sophia led the countdown to take off at the visitors’ area. Wife Kristine greeted her mother-in-law Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina through video conferencing at the end of the launch.

Prime Minister Hasina at her official residence Ganobhaban was up watching the launching of the satellite.

Bangabandhu-1 will be operated by its makers Thales Alenia Space for the first year, even as Bangladeshis are trained to take complete control from the 3rd year onwards.

The satellite is expected to have a lifespan of 15 years.

Besides Sajeeb Wazed and Junaid Palak, a 30-member Bangladeshi contingent was led by State Minister for Information Tarana Halim - who during her spell at the ICT had set the ball rolling on Bangabandhu-1 - MPs Kazi Feroz Rashid and Imran Ahmed, Bangladesh ambassador to USA M Ziauddin.

They were joined by other junior officials, family members and a good number of Bangladeshis from across North America for share a proud moment for the country.

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