Ready for Third Iridium® NEXT Launch
What:Iridium Communications, in partnership with SpaceX, is prepared to launch its third set of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites tomorrow, October 9th, on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The full payload and rocket have been transported to the launch pad, and the rocket is vertical for launch. Once deployed, there will be a total of 30 Iridium NEXT satellites in low Earth orbit.
Iridium NEXT is the company’s $3 billion, next-generation, mobile, global satellite network scheduled for completion in 2018. Iridium NEXT will replace the Company’s existing global constellation in one of the largest technology upgrades ever completed in space. It represents the evolution of critical communications infrastructure that governments and organizations worldwide rely upon to drive business, enable connectivity, empower disaster relief efforts and more. Iridium NEXT will enable and introduce new services like the Company’s next-generation communications platform, Iridium CertusSM, and the AireonSM space-based ADS-B aircraft surveillance and flight tracking network. The Iridium NEXT satellites are manufactured by Thales Alenia Space and assembled by its subcontractor, Orbital ATK, at its facility in Gilbert, Arizona.
When:Launch is Scheduled for Monday, October 9th at 5:37a.m. PDT / 12:37 p.m. UTC
Who: Iridium Communications and SpaceX
Where:Vandenberg Air Force Base, California – SpaceX launch site
A live feed of the launch will be available starting twenty minutes prior to launch at: www.spacex.com/webcast