Official photo of Bangabandhu-1 and Falcon9 vertical from SpaceX.
Florida, May 11 : SpaceX, the US company handling the launch of Bangabandhu-1, country’s first geostationary communications satellite into orbit, has sought to assure Bangladeshi officials that the rocket will be launched around 4:14 pm (local time) on Friday.
This was after the original launch scheduled for Thursday was aborted by the rocket’s flight control system less than a minute before take-off due to “technical glitch”.
It may be noted that the glitch had nothing to do with the satellite, its only payload for the flight. Whatever went wrong was at SpaceX’s end, and they alone can rectify it.
Talking to our correspondent later Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood, said “Every single things of the satellite is being operated by computer and there is no scope for manual operation. The process for launching the Bangabandhu-1 satellite has aborted due to technical glitch.”
The BTRC chairman came up with the information while talking to UNB at a hotel in Orlando.
“There is no problem in the satellite and rocket but there might be some problem at the ground system,” he also said, without any elaboration.
In answer to a question, Mahmood, said “It’s nothing new and there has been a precedent of a satellite launch succeeding at sixth attempt.”
“I hope the Bangabandhu-1 satellite will be launched on Friday afternoon successfully,” he added.
The BTRC boss also dismissed the notion of financial losses caused by the incident, saying “SpaceX will carry the loss until its launch.”
State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Junaid Ahmed Palak, said “There has been a technical glitch just 42 seconds before take-off. It’s now under the authority of SpaceX.”
This time he has asked for prayer from the country’s people for its successful launch.
Besides, Prime Minister’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy in a Facebook status, wrote “The final minutes of the launch are fully controlled by computer. If the computer finds any measurement is out of normal it aborts the launch. Today it aborted the launch just 42 seconds before launch. SpaceX will check everything and attempt the launch again tomorrow at the same time. This is quite normal for rocket launches as you cannot take any risk.”
Otherwise all preparations had already been completed to launch the satellite.
Bangladesh delegation and SpaceX, held a review meeting in New York over the launching preparation on Wednesday morning (local time).
State Minister for Information Tarana Halim, State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Junaid Ahmed Palak, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood attended the meeting.
Bangladesh delegation was to hold a press conference at a hotel in New York on Friday around 11am (local time), after the launching of the satellite. That could be pushed back now.
The new time for the launch given to Bangladesh officials by SpaceX coincides with the start of the backup launch window the company was now targeting for the launch, as UNB reported earlier.
The Bangladesh delegation, led by State Minister for Information Tarana Halim, arrived here on Tuesday to witness the launching.
Prime Minister’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy, State Minister for Information Tarana Halim, State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Junaid Ahmed Palak, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood, Parliamentary Standing Committee Chairman on ICT Affairs Imran Ahmed and other high officials have descended on the southern US coastal state.