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Sea Launch Resumes Countdown for Thuraya-3 Launch

Sea Launch will provide live coverage of the Thuraya-3 mission via satellite and on its website, beginning at 7:25 am PST (15:25 GMT) on Nov. 18. Live coverage at Boeing or Live coverage at Sea Launch
by Staff Writers
Long Beach, CA (SPX) Nov 19, 2007
Sea Launch is set to return to flight on Monday when a Zenit 3SL booster is scheduled to liftoff with the Thuraya 3 mobile communications satellite on board for delivery to a GEO orbit at 98.5 degrees east where it will provide services throughtout the Asia-Pacific region.

Currently the Sea Launch Commander mothership is positioned alongside the Odyssey Launch Platform, at the launch site at 154 degrees West Longitude, on the equator. A day before liftoff, the launch team will erect the Zenit-3SL rocket on the launch pad and perform final tests on the launch system and the spacecraft before starting the terminal countdown.

During final preparations for liftoff, the platform will be evacuated, with all personnel safely positioned on the ship, four miles from the platform.

Boeing built the 5,173 kg (11,381 lb) GEO-Mobile (GEM) spacecraft in El Segundo, Calif., for Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company, based in the United Arab Emirates. Thuraya provides a range of mobile voice and data services over large geographic regions. Thuraya, the world's largest provider of handheld mobile satellite services, is preparing to operate commercially in Asia-Pacific markets as early as January 2008, when Thuraya-3 is expected to become operational.

The Sea Launch team arrived at the launch site on Nov. 10 and initiated a 72-hour countdown for a Nov. 14 launch. However, high winds and unusual strong ocean currents necessitated a hold in the countdown, delaying the launch until conditions met all launch commit criteria.

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Sea Launch Awaits Delivery Of New Gas Deflector
Long Beach, CA (SPX) Aug 27, 2007
Sea Launch's newly manufactured gas deflector arrived at Home Port in Long Beach, Calif., on Aug. 20. Within hours, workers unloaded the 280-metric-ton structure from a cargo vessel, the Thor Amalie, and set it on a barge alongside the pier in preparation for installation on the Odyssey Launch Platform.

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