From: Iridium Communications Inc.
Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2018
Upon completion of on-orbit testing, three of Iridium's six orbital planes will feature all Iridium NEXT satellites.
MCLEAN, Va. - May 24, 2018 - Iridium Communications announced today that the five Iridium NEXT satellites launched on Tuesday, May 22nd, 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 55, leaving just two more launches of 10 satellites each remaining for the Iridium NEXT program.
"The team at Iridium's Satellite Network Operations Center (SNOC) has only positive news to share since Tuesday's launch," said Scott Smith, chief operating officer at Iridium. "Three of the satellites from this launch will be going directly in to service in our sixth orbital plane, where the other two will serve as spares. Once testing is completed in a few weeks, and they are put into service, three of the six Iridium orbital planes, 2, 4 and 6, will be comprised of all Iridium NEXT satellites. This is another tremendous milestone on the horizon as we move ever closer to completing this historic tech refresh."
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. Two more Iridium NEXT launches are scheduled for 2018, to bring Iridium's total to 75 new satellites in orbit, 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.
About Iridium Communications Inc.
Iridium is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. The company has a major development program underway for its next-generation network - Iridium NEXT. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM. For more information about Iridium products, services and partner solutions, visit www.iridium.com.
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