Thuraya 2 launches into orbit today
Thuraya's second satellite, the Thuraya 2, will be deployed into geosynchronous transfer orbit today by Sea Launch, which also successfully launched Thuraya’s first satellite in October 2000.
The Thuraya 2 will serve as a back up for the Thuraya 1 satellite, which currently provides satellite telephony services to over 100 countries in the Middle East, Europe, North and Central Africa, and South and Central Asia. The second satellite is to act as a back up for network service, and a third satellite is under development in preparation for future use, as needed.
The Thuraya 2 is a Boeing GEO-Mobile model satellite, which in addition to the first satellite, was built by Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS) of El Segundo, California. BSS also designed and built the ground system and supplied handsets for the Thuraya network.
The Thuraya 2, on board the Zenit-3SL rocket, will lift off from the Odyssey Launch Platform positioned on the equator in the Pacific Ocean. The 44-minute launch window will open at 5:56 pm United Arab Emirates (UAE) time and broadcast is likely to be carried on some TV stations today.
The Sea Launch team will place Thuraya-2 into orbit, with the spacecraft separating from the upper stage at 2,234 kilometers above the Pacific Ocean. Launching from its equatorial launch site at 154 degrees West Longitude, Sea Launch will insert the spacecraft directly into the required 6.3-degree inclined orbit, an optimal orbital location for the Thuraya system.
After its launch, Thuraya 2 will be positioned at an orbital slot at 44 degrees East longitude. The Thuraya 2 satellite’s technology includes a powerful digital signal processor with a capacity of trillions of operations per second, and a more than 40-foot-wide aperture antenna that allows handling of nearly 14,000 calls simultaneously.
A 72-hour countdown is already in progress. It began after the Odyssey Launch Platform and the Sea Launch Commander arrived at the launch site on the Equator at 154 West Longitude in preparation for the launch.
The two Sea Launch vessels traveled from Sea Launch Home Port, in the Port of Long Beach, to the launch site on the Equator. The 200-foot Zenit-3SL rocket will lift the 5,177 kilogram satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit with a liftoff thrust of 1.6 million lbs.
Designed for a 12-15 year lifespan, the satellite will be positioned 35,786 kilometers above the Earth, at 44 degrees East Longitude and inclined at 6.3 degrees. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)