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Countdown festival for Bangabandhu satellite launching

DHAKA, May 29, 2017 (BSS) - The government will run seven-day countdown festival across the country to celebrate the launching of country's first satellite Bangabandhu-I.

The move has been taken to make the day more memorable as the country will join the satellite owners' club as 57th member through the launching.

"Countdown festival will be observed for the auspicious event of having own satellite into the orbit to make the day more special," state minister for posts and telecommunications Tarana Halim said today.

Terming the day as another milestone for the country, she said it's a great achievement as Bangladesh is going to win the space that might be joyous for every citizen.

Posts and telecommunications division officials said as part of the programme, countdown board will be set up in different places in the city and other parts of the country to inform the people about the final moment.

Besides, fireworks show will be demonstrated while fanus (balloon) will also be released as part of the historic event.

The state minister said the whole satellite launching process will be broadcast live to witness the people of the country.

"We will also develop an opportunity for the people so they can express their opinion and reaction live on the auspicious day," she added.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to connect with the launch of the satellite through video conference from Dhaka instead of visiting Florida to celebrate the country's auspicious event with the people, said Tarana.

Country's first satellite Bangabandhu-1 is almost prepared to launch in December this year.

"If the weather is remained favorable, Bangabandhu-1 satellite will be launched in the first or last week of December from the Cape Canaveral launching pad in Florida of United States through SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle," said the state minister.

Thales Alenia Space will deliver the satellite to the SpaceX in November 9 for launch. Before the handover, they will carry out some tests such as vibration tolerance, function of solar panels etc. as part of final checkout.

In November, 2015 Bangladesh struck a Taka 1,951 crore deal with Thales Alenia Space to implement the project.

Bangladesh will be the 57th satellite country when it launched in the orbital slot on 119.1 degree east longitude that will also a capacity of 40 transponders -- one transponder is equivalent to 36 MHz.

Bangladesh bought the orbital slot from Intersputnik, a Russian satellite company, for US$ 28 million in early of 2015.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)