Thuraya Technology
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    Thuraya - 1
    - Thuraya-1
    - The Launch
    - Mission Profile
    - Launch Impressions
    - Launch Press Release
    Thuraya - 2
    Thuraya - 3
  Technology Papers
Launch Impressions

Abdul Aziz Al Mutawa, Thuraya's Chief Engineer Spacecraft Systems recounts his experience of witnessing Thuraya's satellite launch on 21st October 2000

"As I stood watching the rocket being transferred to the launch platform, I could not help remembering that the Thuraya project initiated by Etisalat was originally designed for a small satellite costing about US$ 100 million. But thuraya was destined to be the first mobile satellite telecommunications system from the region – and ambitious project costing over a billion US dollars.

Abdul Aziz Al Mutawa, with his signature and message at the traditional Sea Launch Rocket signing ceremony, just before the rocket was transferred to the Launch Platform.

The launch platform was six miles from us. We could first see huge smoke coming from the launch platform and then we heard a big sound like that of a firework. The rocket had started its flight toward the sky. It was such a majestic flight. Soon it disappeared under a little cloud on the horizon and my heart would not stop beating faster. Momentarily, the rocket showed up from the cloud and ascended toward the horizon. And then suddenly, we could see the second stage of firing up, until the monitoring for the rocket and spacecraft telemetry unit the end for the second burn and the third stage burn (Block DM) when the mission's success was finally announced. However, I did not calm down until we received the telemetry confirmation from spacecraft Boeing Mission Center in El Segundo.

The launch of Thuraya1 on 21 October 2000 was indeed a day we had all waited for since 1994 when the Thuraya project was born. Thuraya's launch will always be a momentous cherishing memory for hundreds of people who worked in the program from Thuraya, Boeing Satellite System and its subcontractors. The launch day was nothing short of a miracle – the day proved several feats in technology that had never been achieved so far:

- Thuraya was the first 5250 Kg Geostationary satellite launched by Sea Launch.
- Thuraya demonstrated deployable radiator (largest loop heat pipe)
- It also demonstrated one of the largest commercial reflector deployment
- Thuraya demonstrated the first commercial ASIC DSP in space environment and one of most powerful processor ever built for space
- Thuraya demonstrated digital beaming forming technology and with the ability to change the coverage in borad, and much more"

Satellite -2
Launch Impressions…

"On behalf of the GSM Arab operators, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate the management and all Thuraya team on this great achievement that makes all of us in the Arab region proud".

Khaled Ahmed
GSM Arab World

From the Thuraya Staff…

" I wish to thank the Thuraya staff and mainly the Thuraya management for their efforts to promote the development of satellite telecommunications over the entire Thuraya footprint. This is the result of their ceaseless endeavors to lead Thuraya into the 21st century as a leader in global telecommunications.

The successful launch of Thuraya 2 endorses Thuraya's dedication and commitment it has shown ever since its first launch. Congratulations!"

Dr El Mostafa
Manager Market Development, Thuraya

"During the launch, engineer Ahmed Al Shamsi and I were at the Dubai TV station for an interview. At the moment of lift off he was in the studio and I was at the control room watching the launch on one of their TV screens. At the point of the countdown the atmosphere become tense in the room… I had goose bumps all over, and then a ruch of relief when it was over. But the measure of success is the 'signal acquisition of the satellite", so about 1 hour and forty minutes later, Thuraya staff and guests were all watching the broadcast at the Fairmont Hotel in Dubai and it gave me tremendous pleasure to walk up to the mike and announce that the signal had been acquired. What a thrill!

Sana Bagersh
Manager Marketing Services, Thuraya

"Thuraya team's hard work and dedication is the secret behind Thuraya's success. Congratulations on the successful launch!

Jamil Al Nahari
Engineer Network Switching Subsystem, Thuraya

"warmest congratulations on the successful launch of Thuraya 2!! Had been quite anxious for the past few days and was very pleased to see the recorded launch on Sea-Launch's website. Unfortunately, because of the time difference, I could not see it live, but I saw it a few hours later. It certainly brings back the memories of the launch of Thuraya 1"

Jehan El Tigi, Former Thuraya employee, New Zealand.

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