France has congratulated Bangladesh for becoming the 57th nation in the world and the fourth in South Asia to own a communication satellite, Bangabandhu-1, a press release has said.
"We congratulate the government and the people of Bangladesh for ‘entering a new era’, as underlined by the prime minister Sheikh Hasina. It is an important step forward in the country’s digital advancement," read the press release issued on Sunday.
It added that the satellite would open up a wide range of opportunities for Bangladesh among which broadcasting services, weather forecasting services and high-speed internet connectivity in hard-to-reach areas.
SpaceX on Friday blasted off its newest and most powerful Falcon 9 rocket, known as the Block 5, carrying the first high-orbit communications satellite for Bangladesh and marking a leap forward in re-usability for the California-based aerospace company.
The rocket is designed 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 French embassy press release said the government of France has supported the satellite Bangabandhu-1 project from its inception.
"The government of France wishes to thank the French company Thales Alenia Space, designer and manufacturer of the satellite, as well as the US launching company Space X, for their full success in its realisation and launch," read the press release.
"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.