Bangladesh’s second satellite, Bangabandhu Satellite-2, will soar into space from Russia as the two countries has signed a memorandum of cooperation.
Dmitry Loskutov, CEO of Glavkosmos JSC, and Shahjahan Mahmood, chairman and CEO of BSCL, signed the memorandum. Jabbar witnessed the signing.
Bangladesh’s first satellite, Bangabandhu Satellite-1, was made by France’s Thales Alenia Space and a SpaceX rocket blasted off from Kennedy Space Center in the US on May 12, 2018.
Jabbar described the deal for a second satellite three and half years after the launch of the first one as a “new milestone”.
The Awami League government’s electoral manifesto for the telecom sector before the 2018 polls included a third submarine cable connection, fifth generation or 5G communication system and a second satellite, the minister said.
The work on the second satellite had begun in 2019 and officials had expected the launch within 2023.
Asked if it will be possible to launch the satellite by 2023, Jabbar said, “We are trying. But it’s a technical matter. You’ve seen even the launch of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 was delayed at the last moment after all preparations were completed. We are ready again. Let’s see what happens.”
The government had first appointed a consultant and finalised the type of the satellite after reviewing its report. “After that, we decided whom we would appoint to do it and what would be the scope of cooperation. Now the memorandum has been signed,” the minister said.
The memorandum will be valid until the end of 2026, Glavkosmos said in a statement.
“The Parties express their intentions to establish partnership relations to develop long-term, effective and mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of promotion of products and services of the Russian space industry in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh including manufacturing and launch of Bangabandhu Satellite-2 Earth observation satellite system, manufacturing of ground infrastructure (satellite ground stations) for acquiring Earth observation data from the Russian and foreign spacecraft, launch services, educational programs in space domains, commercial orbital flights and consulting services,” it added, citing the memorandum.