27 June 2017
| Natalie Bannerman
Partnership between Iridium and SpaceX results in successful second deployment of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying 10 Iridium Next satellites into low earth orbit from California.
Iridium CEO Matt Desch said, "In the satellite space
industry, we have to work with others. Partnerships are
crucial, and ours with SpaceX proves how important it is to
work together to be successful."
The launch comes after the initial deployment of satellites
back in January and forms part of a contract to provide 75 satellites to be launched over eight
launches, due to be completed by mid-2018.
The now 20 Iridium satellites form
the infrastructure needed for groundbreaking technologies and
Services. Aireon's Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast
(ADS-B) aircraft tracking and surveillance service, and
particularly Iridium Certus is poised to disrupt industry norms
by enabling truly global L-band satellite broadband speeds
through smaller, more cost-effective antennas. According to
Iridium, the first Iridium Next satellites are already being
used to provide superior call quality, faster data speeds and
increased capacity to Iridium customers.
"Right now, it's two down with six more launches to go,"
said Desch. "Our operations team is eagerly awaiting this
new batch of satellites and is ready to begin the testing and
validation process. After several weeks of fine-tuning, the
next set of 'slot swaps' will begin, bringing more Iridium Next
satellites into operational service, and bringing us closer to
an exciting new era for our network, company, and
The Iridium Next satellites from the second launch will be
tested and integrated into the constellation over the coming
weeks. Just as with the first launch, on-orbit testing
and validation will be completed by the Iridium and Thales
Alenia Space teams. Aireon, has been chosen to provide a
real-time, global aircraft surveillance and tracking