Wed, Jun 11, 2003
Thuraya-2, the second satellite built by Boeing
for Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company of Abu Dhabi,
United Arab Emirates, rocketed to geosynchronous transfer orbit
Tuesday morning aboard a Zenit-3SL provided by Sea Launch Company,
The Boeing GEO-Mobile model satellite lifted off at 6:56 a.m.
PDT (13:56 GMT) from the Odyssey Launch Platform positioned on the
equator in the Pacific Ocean. The spacecraft separated from the
launch vehicle approximately one hour and 40 minutes after the
launch, and minutes later its first signals were received at a
Telemetry, Tracking and Control Station at Uralla, Australia,
confirming normal operation.
"The newest light in the heavens is Thuraya-2, a
mobile communications satellite that will help connect users on the
move within a vast area of the globe," said Dave Ryan, president of
spacecraft builder Boeing Satellite Systems International. "A
thorough check-out on orbit lies ahead for the satellite, and we
are confident that it will soon take its place as a vital long-term
asset supporting Thuraya's future growth."
Built in El Segundo (CA), Thuraya-2 is designed to operate for
12 years at the 44 degrees East longitude orbital slot. The
satellite will add capacity to the Thuraya network, which provides
mobile voice and data communication services to a region of more
than 100 countries in Europe, the Middle East, North and Central
Africa, and Central and South Asia.
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