Bangabandhu is Bangladesh's first communications satellite. Built by Thales Alenia Space, a Franco-Italian aerospace manufacturer, it is designed to provide a wide range of broadcast and communication services throughout the country for the next 15 years.
Once operational, citizens of Bangladesh will gain access to the Internet, phone services, radio, backhaul, direct-to-home TV, and other related services. It is named after Bangladesh's "Father of the Nation"- Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The satellite could open up a lot of opportunities for the country in terms of revenue generation. So far, a majority of Bangladesh's communications was based on rented transponders from neighbouring countries and this satellite will make the country autonomous, in terms of telecommunications and broadcasting services, reports Thales.
It was scheduled for a launch from the Kennedy Space Center, on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket. It was supposed to have launched on May 10 at around 5:47 pm (EDT) from Cape Canaveral, but SpaceX's own automatic abort system just 58 seconds before lift-off. SpaceX could not diagnose the abort and fix it in time and the launch window closed at 6:22 pm EDT.
SpaceX tweeted out that the launch will be carried out in the next available window, a day away.
"Standing down today due to a standard ground system auto abort at T-1 min. Rocket and payload are in good health—teams are working towards tomorrow's backup launch opportunity at 4:14 p.m. EDT, or 20:14 UTC."
As to what triggered the automatic abort, SpaceX is yet to clarify the exact reasons, however, they did clarify that the payload and the rocket are unharmed and in good health. The launch has been scheduled to May 11 4:14 pm EDT.
This launch happens to not only be an important one for Bangladesh but also SpaceX as they will debut their latest and final iteration of the Falcon 9- the Block 5, a variant that can be possibly used up to a 100 times before retirement. This Bangabandhu launch will also feature a landing of the Falcon. The rocket will attempt to land on Of Course I Still Love You. It is not clear at this time if the fairings will be caught by Mr Stevens.