Bangabandhu-1 satellite on its way to orbit after launch into space

Falcon 9 Block 5 rolling onto launch pad as seen in Instagram post by Elon Musk

Falcon 9 Block 5 rolling onto launch pad as seen in Instagram post by Elon Musk

The Block 5 version of the Falcon 9 includes improvements such as upgraded heat shields to protect the rocket's base during re-entry.

Besides missions to the space station, the new rocket will be used to launch U.S. Air Force global positioning satellites and other high-value, military and national security payloads. It is the first Bangladeshi communications satellite put into space by SpaceX.

Bangabandhu Communications Satellite-1will provide broadcasting and telecommunication services to rural areas and introduce direct-to-home television programming across Bangladesh and neighboring countries.

The satellite will contain 40 transponders; Bangladesh will use 20 and rent out the rest.

Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully launched an updated version of its Falcon 9 rocket on Friday, and moments later the first stage booster stuck its landing on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. 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.

The rocket is created to require far less maintenance and refurbishment between flights, and is certified to carry humans to space later this year when SpaceX launches its Dragon crew capsule to the International Space Station.

The 3.9-ton satellite traveled to a path 22,000 miles above Earth and went into orbit at 4:52 p.m.

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also joined the proud nation in witnessing the milestone event for Bangladesh's communication sector. Bangabandhu-1 is now on it's own flying out to its final orbit over Bangladesh. PM Hasina's ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy wrote in a Facebook post.

Bangladesh blasted its way into the space age Friday after US company SpaceX launched Dhaka's Bangabandhu-1 satellite into orbit, in a social-media event described by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as a "glorious day" for the South Asian country. It is predicted that with the launch of Bangabandhu-1, this cost will significantly decrease.

Development of the satellite program, known as the "Bangabandhu Satellite Launching Project", was managed by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) with technical support from Space Partnership International (SPI).

"Initial connections have already been established with the Gazipur and Rangamati ground stations, while the satellite Bangabandhu is running its smooth sailing towards its orbit", it added. The mission of Bangabandhu Satellite1 is expected to last at least 15 years.

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