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Sea Launch returns to flight with Thuraya launch
Posted: Tue, Jan 15, 2008, 9:20 PM ET (0220 GMT)
Zenit-3SL launch of Thuraya 3 (Sea Launch) Sea Launch carried out its first launch in nearly a year early Tuesday, successfully launching an Arab communications satellite. The Zenit-3SL lifted off from the Odyssey Launch Platform on the Equator in the Pacific Ocean at 6:48 am EST (1148 GMT), and placed the Thuraya-3 satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit 99 minutes later. The launch was the first for Sea Launch since the failed launch of the NSS 8 satellite in late January 2007; an attempt to launch Thuraya-3 in November 2007 was delayed by poor sea and weather conditions at the launch site. The spacecraft, a Boeing GEO-Mobile spacecraft, weighed 5,173 kg at launch and will operate from 98.5 degrees east in GEO, providing mobile phone services in Asia-Pacific markets.
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