SPACEX SOARS SKYWARD WITH 10 IRIDIUM NEXT SATELLITES
SpaceX returned its Falcon 9 rocket to flight on the 14th January with a mission that delivered ten Iridium NEXT communications satellites into low Earth orbit. Liftoff was on time at 09:54 local time (17:54 UTC) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. SpaceX also successfully landed the first stage booster on a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean.
MCLEAN, Va. – May 2, 2017 – Iridium Communications Inc. has announced that the first set of Iridium NEXT satellites have been integrated into the operational constellation and are providing excellent service to Iridium customers. Prior to achieving this major program milestone, the new satellites went through a rigorous testing and validation process that demonstrated that they met all performance requirements and even exceeded many. The Iridium NEXT satellites are already providing superior call quality and faster data speeds with increased capacity to Iridium customers.
In addition, the Company has announced the targeted launch date for the second payload of ten Iridium NEXT satellites as June 29, 2017, at 1:02pm PDT, with an instantaneous launch window. All planned Iridium NEXT launches will take place from SpaceX’s west coast launch facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California, on Falcon 9 rockets.