A satellite refers to an artificial body placed in orbit a round the earth or another planet in order to collect information or for communication. The Bangabandhu Satellite- 1 is the first Bangladeshi geostationary communications satellite.
The satellite has been named after the father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It was designed and manufactured by Thales Alenia Space and its launch provider was SpaceX. Its launch station was Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, USA and the ground control stations are in Betbunia & Gazipur in Bangladesh.
The satellite was expected to be located at the 119.1° East longitude geostationary slot. With a total mass of 3700 kg and powered by 2 deployable solar arrays and batteries, the expected longevity of the satellite is 15 years. The satellite provides Ku-band and C-band television broadcast and data relay services across Bangladesh and neighboring areas. This satellite will bring about enormous development and uninterrupted telecommunication system in Bangladesh.
At present, the country's television channels have been renting bandwidth from Chinese, Indian and Singaporean satellites at a cost of about $14 million a year. It is expected that Bangladesh will not only save such amount of money in the future, but also would earn a lot by letting other countries to lease the unused bandwidth.
The launch of satellite Bangabandhu- 1 by Bangladesh brings both prospects and challenges as it is expected to help the country save foreign currency, while the challenges remain in effectively running the venture.