From: Vandenberg Air Force Base
Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2017
Team Vandenberg supported the successful launch of the Iridium NEXT satellite on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4 here Saturday, Jan. 14, at 9:54 a.m. PST.
Col. J. Christopher Moss, 30th Space Wing Commander, was the Launch Decision Authority.
"Team Vandenberg takes pride in supporting the launch of Iridium NEXT and SpaceX's return to flight," said Moss. "Today's launch is a testament to the professionalism and commitment to mission assurance, public safety, and mission success on the Western Range."
Iridium NEXT will replace the world's largest commercial satellite network of low-earth orbit satellites in what will be one of the largest "tech upgrades" in history. Iridium has partnered with Thales Alenia Space for the manufacturing, assembly and testing of 81 Iridium NEXT satellites, at least 70 of which will be launched by SpaceX. The process of replacing the satellites one-by-one in a constellation of this size and scale has never been completed before.
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