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Thuraya-3 Satellite Successfully Launched To Orbit

Photo Credit: Sea Launch
by Staff Writers
Abu Dhabi, UAE (SPX) Jan 16, 2008
The third Geo-mobile satellite of Thuraya Satellite Telecom has successfully been launched by Sea Launch, allowing Thuraya to embark on major expansion plans and provide its cutting-edge mobile satellite services in the Asia-Pacific region in the first quarter of 2008.

Lifting off at 11:49 GMT (15:49 p.m. UAE local time) from the Odyssey Launch Platform at 154 degrees West Longitude, the Zenit-3SL rocket placed the 5,173 kg (11,381 lb) Thuraya-3 satellite manufactured by Boeing into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. Spacecraft separation occurred 99 minutes after liftoff, at 1,388 miles above the Pacific Ocean, north of New Zealand. A tracking station in Fillmore, California, acquired the first signal from the spacecraft a few minutes later as planned. All systems performed nominally throughout the flight.

In a press statement following the launch, Thuraya's CEO Mr. Yousuf Al Sayed says, "The launch of Thuraya-3 is a significant milestone in the Company's progress and growth, and in reinforcing Thuraya's status as dynamic, world leading, multi-regional mobile satellite operator,"

He also said that Thuraya has had a long and impressive history with Sea Launch. "We have launched three Geo-mobile satellites so far, all by Sea Launch, and all have been very successful," said Al Sayed, adding that Thuraya is continuously expanding, and Sea Launch has been instrumental in meeting Thuraya's growing requirements.

He also reiterated that the Company has already completed all Ground network preparations for Thuraya-3, and signed commercial partnerships with several promising partners in Asia-Pacific. Hence all is set for commercial launch very early in 2008.

"Congratulations to Thuraya on the tremendous success of this mission," said Rob Peckham, president and general manager of Sea Launch. "I also want to congratulate Boeing Satellite Systems and thank the entire Sea Launch team and all the people around the world who support us.

"We are proud to be supporting Thuraya's expansion into the Asia-Pacific market with the launch of Thuraya-3. We especially appreciate Thuraya's continued trust and confidence in our launch services and we look forward to future opportunities to support the growth of their business," Peckham said.

Boeing built the Thuraya-3 spacecraft to provide 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. With a designed lifetime of 12 years, the satellite will be positioned in Geosynchronous Orbit, 35,786 km (22,236 miles) above the Earth, at 98.5 degrees East Longitude.

related report
Boeing Receives Signals from Thuraya-3 Commercial Satellite Following Launch
St. Louis MO (SPX) Jan 16, 2008 - Boeing has acquired the first signals from the Thuraya-3 Geo-mobile satellite following the launch aboard a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket, indicating that the Boeing-built spacecraft for Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company is healthy and operating as designed.

A ground station in Fillmore, Calif., successfully acquired signals from the commercial communications satellite approximately 1 hour, 51 minutes after liftoff.

"Today marks the beginning of what will be a long and successful mission for this Thuraya satellite," said Howard Chambers, vice president of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "The Thuraya-3 spacecraft will be ready to serve key markets for our customer following a thorough on-orbit check-out that will last about 28 days. Today's successful launch is an example of exceptional program execution on the part of Thuraya, Boeing and Sea Launch engineers. As with all Boeing satellites, Thuraya-3 was built on a foundation of mission assurance and quality, and we look forward to the coming weeks as we prepare the satellite to enter service for Thuraya."

Thuraya-3 is the third satellite Boeing has built for Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company. Boeing technology has helped Thuraya provide mobile satellite services to more than 110 countries inhabited by 2.3 billion people. Thuraya-3 will expand that service to include markets in Japan, China, Australia and Korea.

The Thuraya satellites enable mobile telephone services, transmitting and receiving calls through each satellite's 12.25-meter-aperture reflector. Calls are routed directly from one handheld unit to another, or to a terrestrial network. The system has the capacity for 25,120 simultaneous voice circuits.

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Sea Launch Begins Countdown For Thuraya-3 Launch
Long Beach, CA (SPX) Jan 15, 2008
The Sea Launch team has arrived at its launch site on the Equator and initiated a new 72-hour countdown, in preparation for the launch of the Thuraya-3 mobile communications satellite on Tuesday, January 15. Liftoff is planned at the opening of a 44-minute window, at 3:49am Pacific Standard Time (11:49 GMT).

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