A nanosatellite, designed by Bangladesh’s three prodigious students, has been fired into the orbit from the International Space Station.‘BRAC Onnesha’ is now orbiting the earth after a successful launch from the ISS on Friday. Onnesha denotes search or exploration in Bangla.
With the launch, the three talented students of BRAC University – Raihana Shams Islam Antara, Abdulla Hil Kafi and Maisun Ibn Monowar – have written their names in the history book.
BRAC Onnesha is shaped like a cube of 10cm edge capable of completing one orbit 400 kilometres above the ground in 90 minutes and passing over Bangladesh four to six times a day.
Earlier, on Jun 4, the satellite was taken to the space station from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket.
The launch ceremony, held at 3:10pm Bangladesh time, was witnessed through a live video conference organised at the BRAC University.
Science and Technology Minister Yeafesh Osman was the chief guest at the function.
“Since we are a small country with huge population, we have to enhance our workability through research and innovation,” he said.
Appreciating the innovators, Osman said, “Having an idea is not enough, you have to learn how to share that idea and execute it in reality.”
“We now fully rely on our young generations,” he added.
University Grants Commission Chairman Prof Abdul Mannan also spoke. The first secretary of the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka, Toshiyuki Noguchi, was also present at the ceremony.
Earlier, in February, BRAC University (BRACU) Vice Chancellor Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb received BRAC Onnesha from Kyutech President Professor Yuji Oie and Professor Mengu Cho, Director, Laboratory of Spacecraft Environment Interaction Engineering located in Kitakyushu, Japan, where the satellite was built.
In November, Chairman of the BRAC University Board of Trustees Sir Fazle Hasan Abed inaugurated a ground station on its Mohakhali campus in Dhaka to receive satellite information.
The project is a part of the university’s academic endeavours in collaboration with Kyutech and SPARRSO which was started three years ago.
Bangladesh will launch the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 later this year or early next year.