Thuraya begins countdown to satellite launch

Satellite expected to lift-off in early October and services will begin across Middle East by January 2001.

  • E-Mail
By  Rob Corder Published  September 4, 2000

Countdown has begun for the launch of Thuraya's first satellite, the Thuraya 1, which will take place in a months time. The launch, undertaken by US-based Sea Launch, will take place 3000 miles south-west from Long Beach, California.

The Launch Platform will set sail early September to the launch site, after which the Sea Launch team will transfer the fully integrated Zenit-3SL rocket from the Assembly and Command ship to the Launch Platform.

The model spacecraft has already been delivered to Sea Launch homeport. All electrical and environmental systems have been checked out and activated in the Payload Processing Facility in Long Beach. The spacecraft has already been fuelled and encapsulated before its mating with the Zenit-3SL rocket.

With the launch date confirmed, Thuraya has announced that commercial services will be ready by January 2001.

The initial planned capacity for the satellite-based phone system is 400,000 subscribers by the end of 2001, and 800,000 by the end of 2002.

This year has seen a spate of countries signing service provider agreements with Thuraya. Next year countries like Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and Iran will all have access to the satellite.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code