‘Bangabandhu-1 not yet ready for launch’

UNB . Florida | Update:

.Bangladesh's first satellite, Bangabandhu-1, which was scheduled to start its journey towards the orbit 7 May, is not ready yet for the launch, a top US chapter Awami League leader says quoting prime minister's ICT affairs adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy.

US AL president Siddiqur Rahman told UNB on Friday that US company SpaceX informed Joy that the Bangladeshi satellite could not be made ready for the launch.

"It can't be said right now when the satellite will be launched. The authorities won't fix any date without completing cent per cent preparation, including the technical side. Many works are yet to be done to make it ready," he said quoting Joy.

SpaceX was due to hold a small test at 12 noon (local time) today, the AL leader said.

Sources at SpaceX said the launching date will be fixed once all the preparations are completed after the rest.

Posts, telecommunications and information technology minister Mustafa Jabbar told UNB that no schedule was fixed for the launch of the satellite. "We'll inform you once the date is fixed."

Asked whether it will be possible to launch the satellite by May, he told UNB that nothing can be said until SpaceX sets the date.

Bangabandhu-1 Satellite project director Mejbahuzzaman told UNB over phone that it could be known through today's test as to when the satellite can be launched.

Replying to a question, he said it could not be known after the final test whether the satellite can be launched in the current month.

The launching of Bangabandhu-1 was deferred on Tuesday for technical reasons and unfavourable weather.

With the latest one, the launching schedule of the country's lone satellite has been deferred eight times.

The Bangabandhu Satellite with a capacity of 1,600 megahertz will have 40 transponders and the physical equipment of the space capsule that measures the capacity.

On 21 October, 2015, the Cabinet Purchase Committee approved the project to buy the satellite system.

Later, BTRC signed a deal involving Tk 20 billion with Thales Alenia Space to construct the first-ever satellite project.

Bangladesh will be the 57th country when Bangabandhu-1 to be launched into the orbital slot on 119.1 degree east longitude which (slot) was bought from Russian satellite company 'Intersputnik' for US$ 28 million in January 2015.

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