Launching of Bangabandhu satellite delayed again

Dhaka [Bangladesh], May 3 (ANI): The launching of Bangladesh's first satellite, 'Bangabandhu-1' has been deferred yet again due to technical issues and will not be launched on May 7, according to Telecommunications, Post and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar on Wednesday.

Asked when the new launch date would be announced, Jabbar said, "This is a highly technical issue. We never said that the satellite would definitely be launched on May 7. There will be a test launch, and the final date of launch will be decided based on that. Preparations had been taken in order to carry out the test launch on May 7, but it is not certain anymore."

"We might get to know on May 5 as to when the launch might happen, and we have no hand in this. We did not send a team of representatives. The process for a satellite launch is extremely complicated. They will not launch it without everything being finalized," he was quoted by the Dhaka Tribune as saying.

According to sources, a small precursor test was carried out prior to the original May 7 launch. However, the test failed and has now been rescheduled for May 4.

If the test becomes successful, the new launch date will be announced soon.

The Bangabandhu-1 satellite was supposed to be launched in December last year, but owing to technical and logistical issues, it could not be launched. A number of dates were set by the Bangladesh government, but the project kept on getting delayed.

According to Daily Star Bangladesh, the government had appointed Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), an American aerospace firm to launch the country's first geostationary communication satellite on its orbit a few months ago.

The satellite weighs 3.7 tonnes and is designed and manufactured by Thales Alenia Space, a French satellite company.

A total of 2,967.95 crore Bangladeshi Takas (Tk) was determined as the budget for the development and launch of the Bangabandhu-1 satellite.

Overall, Bangladesh will be the 57th country to launch Bangabandhu-1 in space. (ANI)