Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sea Launch Prepares for Thuraya-3

Sea Launch has left its home port of Long Beach, California and is preparing for the launch of the Thuraya-3 satellite on November 13 from an equatorial launch site in Pacific.

Boeing designed and built the GEO-Mobile (GEM) spacecraft for Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company, which is based in the United Arab Emirates. Boeing also built, and Sea Launch successfully deployed into orbit, Thuraya-1 (October 20, 2000) and Thuraya-2 (June 10, 2003). The satellites are designed 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. Thuraya's expansion towards East Asia will allow it to provide its proven and highly affordable voice, IP and rural telephony services to thousands of private, public and business customers in the densely populated Asian region.

  • In January 2007, Sea Launch experience the total loss of the NSS-8 spacecraft, which exploded at launch from its Odyssey Platform in the equatorial Pacific. The Odyssey Launch Platform sustained limited damage. Commander ship was not damaged during the launch attempt, as it was positioned four miles from the Launch Platform at the time of lift-off.