22 June 2017
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
Iridium is due to launch 10 new satellites for its new fleet on Sunday. If successful, the launch with mean the company will be a quarter of the way through its programme to replace its 20-year-old fleet.
SpaceX is due to launch Iridium’s satellites
numbers 11-20 on a single rocket, due to take off from
California at 13:24 Pacific time. The first 10 satellites went
into orbit in January and were in service by March, replacing
The company plans a total of 75 satellites to be launched over
eight launches, with the new fleet expected to be completed by
Services from the new Iridium fleet will include a global
real-time aircraft surveillance and tracking network. Iridium
also plans an enterprise service, Certus, with global coverage
at up to 1.4Mbps.
"Certus is in development right now and we plan to run beta
trials in the second half of this year with an anticipated
commercial launch in 2018," said CEO Matt Desch.