Iridium Communications, in partnership with SpaceX, is prepared to launch its fifth set of 10 Iridium® NEXT satellites tomorrow, March 30th, on SpaceX’s flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket. The full payload and rocket have been transported to the launch pad, and the rocket is vertical for launch. The payload has an instantaneous launch window scheduled for 7:13:51 am PDT. Once deployed, there will be a total of 50 Iridium NEXT satellites in low earth orbit. The Falcon 9 rocket first stage being used in tomorrow’s launch was previously flown during Iridium’s third launch, which successfully took place in October 2017.
Iridium NEXT is the company’s $3 billion, next-generation, mobile, global satellite network scheduled for completion in 2018. These new satellites are replacing 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 broadband service, Iridium CertusSM.
Want to watch the launch live? Tune into the SpaceX webcast here for a live feed of Iridium-5 – www.spacex.com/webcast