Press Release

Sea Launch Sails to Equator for the Launch of Thuraya-2

By SpaceRef Editor
May 29, 2003
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The Odyssey Launch Platform and
the Sea Launch Commander departed Sea Launch Home Port this week, for the
launch of the Thuraya-2 satellite. Liftoff is scheduled for June 10, in a
44-minute launch window that opens at 6:56 am PDT (13:56:00 GMT).

The two Sea Launch vessels will travel from Sea Launch Home Port, in the
Port of Long Beach, to the launch site on the Equator at 154 degrees West
Longitude, where a 72-hour countdown will begin upon arrival. Once the
platform is ballasted to launch depth, the team will perform final tests on
the rocket and spacecraft, and prepare for launch operations. The 200-foot
Zenit-3SL rocket will lift the 5177 kg (11,413 lb) Thuraya-2 satellite to
geosynchronous transfer orbit with a liftoff thrust of 1.6 million lbs.

Thuraya-2 was built by Boeing for the Thuraya Satellite
Telecommunications Company, of United Arab Emirates, and shipped from its
satellite manufacturing facility in El Segundo, Calif. The GEO-Mobile (GEM)
model satellite uses a Boeing 702 body-stabilized design and integrates a
ground segment and user handsets to provide a range of cellular-like voice and
data services over a vast geographic region. Sea Launch successfully inserted
the first Boeing GEM model, Thuraya-1, to orbit in October 2000. It is the
heaviest commercial spacecraft launched successfully to date.

Thuraya-2 will enable Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications to continue to
grow and expand its successful business, providing communications services to
the people of 100 nations in the Middle East, Europe, North and Central
Africa, and South and Central Asia. Thuraya’s advanced satellite
telecommunications provides blanket border-to-border coverage to nearly one
third of the globe. Based in Abu Dhabi, Thuraya offers uninterrupted and
seamless services that link urban and rural areas, and ensure call continuity
over regions with fragmented conventional telecommunication networks.

Sea Launch Company, LLC, headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., is a world
leader in providing heavy-lift commercial launch services. This multinational
partnership offers the most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary
orbit. With the advantage of a launch site on the Equator, the proven
Zenit-3SL rocket can lift a heavier spacecraft mass or provide longer life on
orbit, offering best value plus schedule assurance. Sea Launch has a current
backlog of 16 firm launch contracts. For additional information, visit the
Sea Launch website at:

SpaceRef staff editor.