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Thuraya satellite launch delayed

  • Friday, 23 November 2007 | News

The launch of the Thuraya-3 communications satellite from the Pacific Ocean, using a Zenit-3SL rocket, has been delayed for a sixth time due to poor weather conditions, a Russian Mission Control spokesman said Wednesday.

Thuraya-3 is the third and latest geo-mobile satellite manufactured by Boeing for Thuraya, with the launch being managed by US company Sea Launch. The first two satellites, Thuraya-1 and -2, launched in 2000 and 2003 respectively, were the largest commercial satellites ever launched at that time.

"The launch has been delayed for an indefinite time. (Any later launch) depends on the weather and the Sea Launch company's decision," the spokesman said.

The launch originally planned for November 13 was expected to take place November 21 at 6.25 p.m. Moscow time (3.25 GMT).

Thuraya's CEO, Yousuf Al Sayed, indicated that the launch of this satellite will form an important part of the company's strategy going forward.

Mr Al Sayed also added that the Thuraya has already completed all ground network preparations for Thuraya-3, and set up a commercial infrastructure with a number of partners in East Asia, with a view to a commercial launch early in 2008.

Once operational, the new satellite would double Thuraya's current coverage to include all Asia-Pacific countries, enabling it to offer its services in markets like China, Japan, Australia, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

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