F R Sarkar
F. R. Sarker ( Fazlur Rahman Sarker) started Sky Observation activity from 1969.
In 1979, he was appointed as the Head of Sky Observation Team of National Museum of Science & Technolgy, Dhaka.
On 16 February, 1980, he conducted the Observation of Total Solar Eclipse, through a 4” dia Telescope over the roof top of Science Museum, then situated at Road-6, Dhanmundi RA, Dhaka..
In 1985-86, during the apparition of Halley’s Comet, he conducted dozens of Comet Observational Programmes through a 8” dia Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope in Dhaka and its outskirts.
1987, F. R. Sarker conducted a “Short Course on Astronomy “ for about 4 months in Science Museum in which about 90 students had participated. He wrote a Book named “ Prathomic Jotirbiggyan “ ( Primary Astronomy) and “ Rater Akash “ (Sky Map ) as Educational materials for the Students of this Course. It was the First Initiative in the history of Bangladesh to arrange Teaching of Astronomy with Book, Sky Map , Telescope and Videos.
He has worked for about 10 years in Science Museum and conducted hundreds of Sky Observation Programmes including Seminars and Workshops on Astronomy and Space related activities.
In November, 1984, F. R. Sarker played a pivotal role to form the Bangladesh Astronomical Society and he was elected as its General Secretary.
In 1995, he obtained Membership with the Confederation of Indian Amateur Astronomers (CIAA) and he had attended CIAA’s “ Astronomer’s Meet” in New Delhi in 1996 and in Shillong, Meghalaya, in 1998.
He had participated in 2 Total Solar Eclipse Observation Programmes organized by CIAA in India. One was observed from Diamond Harbour area in Kolkata on 24 October, 1995 and the other from Runn of Kutch, Bhuj, Gujrat, on 11 August, 1999.
He had organized a big Demonstration on the Streets of Dhaka on 12 June, 1999 against the “ Flyby of NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft “ which was scheduled to swing over Planet Earth on 18 August, 1999 on its way from Venus to Saturn within 496 miles altitude of the Earth . It contained 72Lbs Plutonium Dioxide which if broken during Flyby could cause deaths of millions of people with its proliferation of Nuclear Radiation. This News was prominently covered by CNN TV Channel on 16 August, 1999 . He was the Member of the “ Stop Cassini Flyby Action Committee “ headed by Dr. Michio Kaku, Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of New York, USA.
During the Close-up of Mars with Earth in August , 2003, he took part in its several Observational Programmes including a Seminar on 26 August, in the Auditorium of Bangladesh University of Science & Technology (BUET).
Celebration of World Space Week in early October is a Programme of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) (www.unoosa.org) ) which is coordinated by World Space Week Association (WSWA) based in Houston, USA aimed at creating Space Awareness among the School Students around the world.. In 2003, F. R. Sarker was nominated as the National Coordinator of the World Space Week Association (WSWA), (www.worldspaceweek.org) in Bangladesh. Since October, 2004, he has been regularly organizing the Celebration of World Space at his native village Enayetpur which lies about 85 miles northwest of Dhaka. In 2005, he has built up “Mohakash Bhaban” (Space House) at Enayetpur to run his Space related Activities.
Celebration of World Space Week at Enayetpur is one of the biggest Space Festivals in the world which is participated by thousands of Students, Teachers and Space Enthusiasts with spectacular Street Rally, Space Debate, Space Drama, Space Quiz, Kid Astronauts Parade, Space Art Contest ,Water Rockets Launch Contest. etc.
On 3-5 October 2011, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) had sent 2 Delegates from U.K and Ireland to Enayetpur for celebration of the World Space Week ( WSW-2011) in joint collaboration of Bangladesh Astronomical Society (BAS) and United Nations Educational, Scientific Organization (UNESCO). They conducted a “Capacity Building Workshop on Astronomy” in the Mohakash Bhaban on 3-4 October and participated in the Concluding Session of WSW-2011 on October 5, 2011. They were highly satisfied and later UNOOSA recognized Enayetpur as the “ Space Village “ in the world.
In 2006, he was nominated as a Member of “Space Education and Awareness Working Group (SEA WG)” of “Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum “ (APRSAF), an organization run by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Since then he has been attending the Annual Sessions of APRSAF in different countries in Asia Pacific region..
He participated “ International CanSat Workshop “ which was held on 23-24 February, 2007 in Takeda Hall, University of Tokyo , Japan. It was organized by University Space Engineering Consortium (UNISEC).
During the Celebration of World Space Week on 4 October , 2007 , at Enayetpur, he introduced the Water Rocket Launch Event commemorating 50th Anniversary of Sputnik-1, the First Satellite which was launched by Soviet Russia on 4 October, 1957. It was the First time in the History of Bangladesh, Water Rocket was launched by developing its Rocket and Launcher locally.
On 24 May, 2008, F. R Sarker had participated in a Zero Gravity Flight on a Zero-G Plane of Space Adventures Inc. from McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. So far, he is the First and Only person in Bangladesh to participate in a Zero Gravity Flight.
He attended APRSAF International Water Rocket Education Workshop held in Victorian Space Science Education Centre ( VSSEC), Melbourne, Australia on 30 June to 3 July , 2008 .Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) had arranged this Workshop for offering training to the Educators how to make and launch Water Rockets.
At the end of 2008, he was nominated as the Chair of Bangladesh Node by International Astronomical Union (IAU) for celebration of “International Year of Astronomy (IYA-2009)” and he had organized dozen of Programmes all over Bangladesh to celebrate this historic event.
He attended the Opening Ceremony of International Year of Astronomy (IYA-2009) which was held on 15-16 January, 2009 in UNESCO Head Quarters in Paris, France.
He also attended “ Stars of Asia Workshop “ organized by National Astronomical Observatory, Japan (NAOJ) in its Headquarters in Mitaka, Tokyo on 11-13 May, 2009.
He played an important role for Observation of the Total Solar Eclipse on 22 July, 2009, in the stadium of Panchagarh, a town situated in northwest corner of Bangladesh. .
F R Sarker in collaboration with Debasis Sarker, General Secretary of North Bengal Sky Watchers Association, Shiliguri, India, arranged a historic Meeting between Astronomers of India and Bangladesh on 21 July, 2009 in the Border between India and Bangladesh near Pillar No. 433 , Latitude : 26 deg. 29.10 min. 11 Sec. and Longitude : 88 deg. 22.16 min. 09 sec. which lies west of Majhipara Border Out Post (BOP), about 20 miles north of Panchagarh. This Meeting was arranged with the spirit of “ Astronomers Without Borders “ and without obtaining formal permission from the Governments of India and Bangladesh.
During the 20th Session of Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) held in Hanoi, Vietnam on 5 December, 2013, he was given “APRSAF AWARD” for his outstanding contributions in the field of Space activities. Among the Delegates from Asia-Pacific regions, only 3 persons were given this Award and he was one of them.
He used to publish for about 3 years, “Mohakash Songbad” (Space News), the first Space related Online Weekly Magazine in Bengali language.
He has also published “ Souro Jagat “ ( Solar Systems) , a book on Astronomy.
His “Rater Akash”, an Ephemeris showing positions of the Constellations, Stars, Planets, Moons etc used to publish in every month in daily Janakantha continuously for about 4 years.
He used to participate in “ Anu-Parmanu” ( Atom and Molecule) ,a popular Science Programme of Bangladesh Television (BTV) for about 8 years.
He had the opportunity to meet Apollo -11 Mission Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins during their visit to Dhaka in October, 1969.
F. R. Sarker has visited:
NASA’s Johnson Space Centre (JSC), Houston, USA .
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, California ,USA.
Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), Houston, USA.
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Vienna, Austria.
European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) in Vienna, Austria.
JAXA’s Sagamihara Campus, Kanagawa, Japan.
Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO), in Beijing, China.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), in Bangalore, India.
Indonesian Space Agency (LAPAN), in Jakarta, Indonesia,
Space Technology Institute (STI), Hanoi, Vietnam,
Geo- Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), in Bangkok, Thailand.
Greenwich Observatory London, UK,
Griffith Observatory , Los Angeles, California , USA.
Palomar Observatory, San Diego, California, USA,
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan,
Dr. Vainu Bappu Observatory, Kavalur, Tamil Nadu, India . etc.
He has personally organized two important Space related Events in joint Collaboration with Foreign Organizations at his village, Enayetpur..
APRSAF Space Education Seminar, jointly organized by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Bangladesh Astronomical Society (BAS), in Dhaka and at Enayetpur on 17-19 January, 2011.
A “ Capacity-Building Workshop on Astronomy “ with “ Celebration of World Space Week “ on 3-5 October, 2011 at Enayetpur, in joint Collaboration with United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Bangladesh Astronomical Society (BAS).
Two of his Project Profiles have been implemented :
In 1996, he had submitted a Project Profile to the Ministry of Science & Technology ( MS&T) , Government of Bangladesh, for setting up a Planetarium in Dhaka with a Dome having 23-M diameter which was built up and has started operation from 2004. It has been named as “Bangabandhu Novotheatre “.
In 2008, he had submitted a Project Profile to Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of Bangladesh for setting up a Communications Satellite with 12 C-band and 12 Ku-band Transponders. Ministry of Telecommunications undertook for implementation of this Project naming it as “Bangabandhu - 1 Satellite” which was launched on 11 May, 2018 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA atop a Falcon-9 Launch Vehicle .
In 2011, he had also submitted a Project Profile to the Ministry of Science & Technology (MS&T) to set up “Bangladesh Space Agency “ for acceleration of Space Education, Space Technologies and its Applications and to develop and operate Satellites by the Scientists, Engineers and Technicians of Bangladesh, which is remaining pending.
Professionally, F. R. Sarker is a businessman. He obtained his MA in Political Science from the University of Dhaka in 1967.