Launch of UAE Thuraya-1 telecom satellite delayed for 24 Hours
The launch mission of Thuraya–1, which was scheduled for today, has been delayed by 24 hours due to a technical reason. A Thuraya spokesperson said that the mission has been rolled over to Friday October 20, same timing (10:15 a.m. UAE time, 6:15 a.m. GMT). The launch will be proceeded by the opening of the launch window, which will last for 45 minutes.
Thuraya-1, the first satellite for the UAE-based Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company, will be launched by a Sea Launch rocket from the middle of the Pacific Ocean, near the equator. The satellite is designed for a 12-year lifespan and once deployed, will be primed for commercial operation in early 2001.
The first mobile telecommunications satellite initiated by the Middle Eastern region, Thuraya will provide satellite mobile phones and satellite payphones to 99 countries in Europe, north and central Africa, the Middle East, central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Thuraya offers a powerful communication option with its combination of satellite, GSM and GPS in a single handset.
With 5,108 kg (11,260 pound) payload, Thuraya-1 is among the world’s largest commercial satellites, and the heaviest to launch on the Zenit-3SL rocket to date. Thuraya-1 will be placed in geo-synchronous orbit at 44 degrees East Longitude, inclined at 6.3 degrees, 36,000 km (approximately 22,500 miles) above the Earth. Boeing Satellite Systems (formerly Hughes Space and Communications) built the Boeing GEM (geo-synchronous-mobile) model spacecraft in El Segundo, California. — (Albawaba-MEBG)