THURAYA-1 / Zenit-3SL
The Sea Launch Limited Partnership successfully launched a Zenit-3SL launch vehicle at 1:52 a.m. EDT on October 21, 2000. The launch took place from their launch platform in the Pacific Ocean (154 degrees W on the equator), and carried the THURAYA-1 satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit. The THURAYA-1 satellite is owned by the Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company. They offer satellite-based telephony through a mobile phone that combines terrestrial and satellite services, and GPS. Thuraya's footprint includes the Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East, Central Asia, North and Central Africa, and Europe. Its Primary Gateway, situated in Sharjah, UAE, will act as the operation center for the mobile satellite system.