Space Commerce

Orbital Hosts Satellite Production Kick-Off Ceremony for the Iridium NEXT Program

By Marc Boucher
Press Release
March 25, 2014
Filed under ,
Orbital Hosts Satellite Production Kick-Off Ceremony for the Iridium NEXT Program

WHAT: Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony to announce the start of production for 81 satellites for the Iridium NEXT program, the second-generation global satellite constellation.
This new constellation will dramatically enhance Iridium’s ability to meet the rapidly-expanding demand for truly global mobile communications on land, at sea and in the skies. Orbital will perform assembly, integration, test, and launch operations of the satellites under contract agreement with Thales Alenia Space of France, Iridium’s prime contractor. The start of production also signifies the opening of the newly created Foreign Trade Zone at the Orbital Sciences manufacturing facility in Gilbert, Arizona.

In addition to viewing the Iridium NEXT production line, visitors will be able to see NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite, currently in its final integration and testing phase, and Orbital will provide an update on the program.

Highlights of the event will include:
– Ribbon cutting ceremony
– Viewing of the newly renovated and ready for production Iridium NEXT Assembly Line
– Briefing on the technical aspects of the design, manufacturing and testing of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation
– Briefing on Orbital’s economic impact on the community
– Media Q&A
– Briefing and viewing of the OCO-2 spacecraft


– Mayor John Lewis – Mayor, Town of Gilbert, AZ
– Scott Smith – Chief Operating Officer, Iridium Communications Inc.
– Jason Yocum – Senior Program Director – Iridium NEXT, Orbital Sciences
– Mike Miller – Senior Vice President of Science and Environmental Satellite Programs, Orbital Sciences
– David Crisp – Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Science Team Leader


Thursday, March 27, 2014
10:00-11:15 a.m. MDT

1721 West Elliot Rd
Gilbert, AZ. 85233

Please RSVP to Sean Wilson at or 832-453-9464 by noon MDT on Wednesday, March 26.

Media will be allowed to photograph the satellite production facility through a viewing window. A separate viewing of the OCO-2 spacecraft will also be provided.

This is an industrial facility. Media participants in attendance should wear closed-toe shoes for safety purposes.


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


Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to government agencies and laboratories. More information about Orbital can be found at Follow the company on Twitter @OrbitalSciences

Sean Wilson
Griffin Communications Group
(832) 864-3518 – office
(832) 453-9464 – mobile

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.