DHAKA – The first telecommunications satellite in Bangladesh successfully took off Saturday from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a Falcon 9 rocket of the company SpaceX.
“The wait for 160 million Bangladeshis has ended. The first satellite, Bangabandhu-1, moved into the space after a successful launch at 2:14 am Saturday morning,” said on Facebook the junior minister for Information and Communication Technologies, Zunaid Ahmed Palak, who was present at the center during the launch.
Once the satellite was placed in a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), the reusable part of the Falcon 9 rocket landed on an unmanned barge called “Of Course I Still Love You,” confirmed SpaceX on Twitter.
The launch was initially scheduled for Friday, but was automatically aborted seconds before the countdown ended and, after checking that the rocket and cargo were in good condition, SpaceX rescheduled it for the next day.
With the launch into orbit of its first satellite, Bangladesh hopes to improve telecommunications in the country and obtain better meteorological data, among other benefits.
“The first major benefit Bangladesh will get is meteorological forecast. We will now get more accurate data and images through this satellite. It will help us in disaster management and preparedness. Our communication system will also definitely improve,” explained to EFE a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of the University of Dhaka, Md. Haider Ali.