Mission Profile

The Thuraya launch placed a commercial telecommunications satellite into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit, with the spacecraft separating from the upper stage at 1,388 miles above South America.

The weight of the spacecraft fully fueled at the time of launch, was approximately 11,260 lbs (5,108 kg.). The 45-minute launch window opened at 10:52 pm (PDT). Launching from its equatorial launch site at 154 degrees West Longitude, Sea Launch inserted the spacecraft directly into the required 6.3 degree inclined orbit, an optimal orbital location for the Thuraya satellite.

About two-and-a-half minutes after liftoff, the first stage and then the payload fairing separated. About six minutes later, the second stage separated from the Block DM, or upper stage. After the first burn of the Block DM, the spacecraft coasted for 90 minutes, performing thermal maneuvers, such as a slow roll, to maintain a benign satellite environment. Following this coast, the Block DM made a second burn and then separated from the spacecraft about eleven minutes later. About 22 minutes after Block DM separation Boeing Satellite Systems acquired the signal of the spacecraft from a ground station in Italy.

Designed for a 12-year lifespan, the satellite is now positioned in Geosynchronous Orbit, 35,786 km (22,236 miles) above the Earth, at 44 degrees East Longitude and inclined at 6.3 degrees. It is among the post powerful satellites orbited to date, with 13.5 kilowatts. By December, the satellite had successfully completed its Initial Operational Test phase, during which the C-band antenna, solar wings and 12-meter-diameter L-band reflector were deployed and tested.