SpaceX has launched the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 into orbit from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, US.

Approximately 33 minutes after lift-off, the satellite was placed into a geostationary transfer orbit by an upgraded Falcon 9 rocket called Block 5.

The launch marks Block 5’s first flight, following the final substantial upgrade made to the rocket.

After launching the satellite, the first stage of the rocket was successfully recovered when it landed on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

“Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will deliver direct-to-home services, video distribution and very small aperture terminal communications services across Bangladesh.”

According to SpaceX, the Falcon 9 Block 5 is capable of conducting ten or more flights with very limited refurbishment.

The Bangabandhu Satellite-1 is Bangladesh’s first geostationary communications satellite. It will be operated by Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company (BCSCL) to provide telecommunications and broadcasting services.

Built by Thales Alenia Space, the satellite is equipped with 26 Ku-band and 14 C-band transponders and has a 15-year service life.

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Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will deliver direct-to-home services, video distribution and very small aperture terminal communications services across Bangladesh from an orbital position of 119.1° east.

The satellite will primarily serve Bangladesh and its territorial waters in the Bay of Bengal, as well as India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

It was developed under the Bangabandhu Satellite Launching Project, which was managed by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission with technical support from Space Partnership International.