A statement from Iridium about the condition of the latest batch of NEXT satellites launched by SpaceX:
During Pre-Operational Testing
MCLEAN, Va. , July 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM) announced today that the 10 Iridium NEXT satellites launched on Wednesday, July 25 th, by SpaceX are functioning nominally and have begun the testing and validation process. The launch brought the total number of Iridium NEXT satellites in orbit to 65, leaving just one more launch of 10 satellites to complete the Iridium NEXT launch program.
“It’s incredible that we only have one more Iridium NEXT launch to go,” said
Scott Smith, chief operating officer at Iridium. “Since Wednesday’s launch, the team is focused on settling these 10 new satellites into their designated slots, all in plane five. Once we are done with this batch, plane five will be comprised of all Iridium NEXT satellites, and we will be ready and waiting for the final launch of this historic program.”
The Iridium constellation is comprised of six polar orbiting planes, each containing 11 operational crosslinked satellites, for a total of 66 satellites in the active constellation. This unique architecture creates a web of coverage around the earth, enabling Iridium to provide real-time communications over the oceans and from even the most remote locations. One more Iridium NEXT launch is scheduled for 2018, which will bring Iridium’s total number of new satellites in orbit to 75, including nine spares. A total of 81 satellites are being built, including 66 operational, nine on-orbit spares and six ground spares.
For more information about Iridium NEXT, please visit www.IridiumNEXT.com.