Thuraya-2, the second satellite built by Boeing [NYSE:BA] for Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, rocketed to geosynchronous transfer orbit today aboard a Zenit-3SL provided by Sea Launch Company, LLC.
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, Calif., 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.
The Boeing Company is the world's leading aerospace company, with its heritage mirroring the history of flight. It is the largest manufacturer of satellites, commercial jetliners and military aircraft. The company is also a global market leader in missile defense, human space flight and launch services.