Mobile Communications satellite. Launch delayed from September 18 and October 19. Stationed at 44 deg E. The first Boeing GEM satellite, Thuraya 1, was built by Boeing/El Segundo (formerly Hughes). It was based on the HS-702 design but featured a large 12-m diameter truss antenna for L-band mobile telephone service. Launch mass of Thuraya was 5108 kg; dry mass probably around 3000 kg. The satellite was to be delivered after on orbit testing to Etisalat, the Emirates Telecom Corp of Abu Dhabi, and its Thuraya Satellite subsidiary. Thuraya was launched from the Odyssey platform in the Pacific Ocean positioned on the equator at 154 deg W. The two-stage Yuzhnoe Zenit core delivered Thuraya and its Energiya Blok DM-SL upper stage to a -2212 x 182 km suborbital trajectory. The first DM-SL burn placed the stack in a 180 x 200 km x 6.3 deg parking orbit at 0604 GMT; a second burn at 0733 GMTput Thuraya in a 210 x 35891 km x 6.3 deg geostationary transfer orbit. A later depletion burn lowered the DM-SL stage perigee to 180 km, as burns by Thuraya's liquid engine raised it towards geosynchronous orbit. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 44 deg E in 2000. As of 5 September 2001 located at 44.22 deg E drifting at 0.003 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 98.57E drifting at 0.007W degrees per day.
Launch vehicle return-to-flight after on-pad explosion one year earlier damaged launch platform. The satellite was positioned at 98.5 degrees East Longitude to provide L-band and C-band mobile voice, broadband, maritime, rural telephony, and fleet management to Thuraya subscribers. Design lifetime of 12 years.