A Practical Future of Space Programs for Bangladesh
Bangladesh achieved a milestone last year by launching its own satellite. Bangabandhu-1 is a giant step for space program of Bangladesh. To be competitive in the long-term space program for Bangladesh, we must establish our own space program here in Bangladesh. Bangabandhu-1 was designed and launched by third party foreign entities. Space programs are in general very expensive and time-consuming endeavor. Each satellite takes years to plan, design and build costing hundreds of millions of US Dollars. Establishing a full-scale space program will take years for Bangladesh. Whenever we start our space program, it will take 20 to 30 years to mature. That means, we should start our program now. The question is do we have the resources and the skilled man power to develop a full-scale space program at this time? The simple answer at this time is no. Then the question arises, do we really need to start a “full-scale” space program now to have a viable space program in 20 to 30 years? Are the any alternative options? The answerer is yes. We do not need to start an expensive full-scale space program at this time. What we can do start our program with a very affordable “Pcosatellite” projects that will develop skilled space program manpower and give us expedience in launching, managing and controlling space crafts. One of the best well-known picosatellite programs is the NASA’s CUBESAT Program. Typical picosatellite has a mass of 100gm to 1kg, generally resides in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at an altitude of 200 to 400km above earth surface and has a lifetime of few weeks to couple of years. The total cost of developing such a satellite is between $100,000 to $2,000,000. The design and manufacturing of these satellites can easily be done in Bangladesh using local manpower. The launching of these satellites can vary between free to $30,000. This proposal will show how we can establish a Cubesat program in Bangladesh which will develop skilled manpower in space technology and provide aerospace research opportunities to our engineers and scientists. Expected outcomes: Establishment of a CubeSat program in Bangladesh Impact on Bangladesh: Development of practical space program and aerospace manpower development. Needed resources: Ground station and laboratory space, preferably in a university. Annual funding of about $100,000 for the first few years. Business plan: Establish a ground station first for tracking satellite. Start building CubeSat components, test flat-sat and build communication and control electronics. If pilot project is needed, what will be the cost: $300,000. Expected ROI: Expected timeline: Three to fifteen years. Project sustainability plan: Start with both private and government funding. Create meaningful payloads to provide services to agriculture and GIS services. Slowly build up satellite design capabilities.