Ground stations in Gazipur and Betbunia have received test signals from the Bangabandhu Satellite-1, said the state minister for ICT division Junaid Ahmed Palak.
The two ground stations received the test signals from the country’s first ever communications satellite after 6:25pm US Eastern Time (BDST 4:25am), reports UNB.
To deploy the satellite to its geostationary orbit, SpaceX separated it from the second stage booster some 33 minutes after the launch from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on Friday afternoon (local time).
Palak also confirmed the satellite had been successfully deployed at Bangladesh’s specified orbit slot “within 36 minutes” of the launch.
He said it would take another 11 days for the satellite, built by European aerospace company Thales Alenia Space, to settle into its orbital slot.
A lively Bangladeshi contingent, numbering around 200, including the prime minister’s ICT affairs adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy, had enjoyed the first 36 minutes of the launch from the KSC visitors’ area, Palak said.
The satellite will be operated by its makers Thales Alenia Space for the first year, even as Bangladeshis are trained to take complete control from the 3rd year onwards. It is expected to have a lifespan of 15 years.
Besides Sajeeb Wazed and Junaid Palak, a 30-member Bangladeshi contingent was led by the state minister for information Tarana Halim, who during her spell at the ICT had set the ball rolling on the satellite.
They were joined by other junior officials, family members and a good number of Bangladeshis from across North America, who all came together to share the proud moment for the country.