Pre-Launch Processing Nearly Complete in Anticipation of October 4th Launch
MCLEAN, Va. – September 20, 2017 – Iridium Communications (NASDAQ: IRDM), today announced that all 10 Iridium NEXT satellites for the third launch are onsite at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California. Pre-launch processing activities are underway, which includes mating them to the dispensers, fueling and encapsulation within the fairing. The Falcon 9 rocket stages and fairing components are also onsite and in processing for launch. Scheduled for October 4, 2017 at 6:06am PDT (1:06pm UTC), this early morning launch continues the ambitious deployment pace for the Iridium NEXT program, set to launch a total of 75 satellites on SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets. A total of 81 Iridium NEXT satellites are being built – 66 are required for the operational constellation, with the remaining 15 serving as on-orbit spares (nine) and ground spares (six).
“Our teams, not only in California, but also in Arizona and in Northern Virginia, have maintained a steady and impressive pace when it comes to pre-and-post launch operations,” said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. “We’re setting a new industry standard for satellite deployment, in terms of both time and efficiency. On our end, all systems are go for our coming predawn launch.”
The October 4th launch is the third of eight launches for the Iridium NEXT program. Under the lead of Thales Alenia Space (Iridium NEXT System Prime Contractor), the satellites were shipped in pairs from the Orbital ATK Satellite Manufacturing Facility in Gilbert, Arizona to VAFB. The satellites were delivered in specially designed motion and temperature-controlled containers designed to maintain optimal environmental conditions.
Iridium NEXT is the company’s next-generation global satellite constellation scheduled for completion in 2018. Iridium NEXT represents the evolution of critical communications infrastructure that governments and organizations worldwide rely upon to drive business, enable connectivity, empower disaster relief efforts and more. Iridium NEXT will introduce new capabilities, such as Iridium CertusSM, the company’s next-generation multi-service communications platform, which will deliver broadband speeds over L-band for aviation, maritime, land mobile, Internet of Things applications for commercial and government organizations. It will also enable the AireonSM space-based ADS-B, real-time, global aircraft surveillance and flight tracking system.
Iridium NEXT satellites undergoing pre-launch processing
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.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements in this press release that are not purely historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company has based these statements on its current expectations and the information currently available to us. Forward-looking statements in this presentation include statements regarding the timing for deployment of the Iridium NEXT constellation and the capabilities of the products and services enabled by Iridium NEXT, including Iridium Certus and Aireon. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the words “anticipates,” “may,” “can,” “believes,” “expects,” “projects,” “intends,” “likely,” “will,” “to be” and other expressions that are predictions or indicate future events, trends or prospects. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Iridium to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, uncertainties regarding potential delays in the Iridium NEXT deployment, the development and functionality of Iridium NEXT and related products and services, and the company’s ability to maintain the health, capacity and content of its satellite constellation, as well as general industry and economic conditions, and competitive, legal, governmental and technological factors. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements include those factors listed under the caption “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on February 23, 2017, as well as other filings Iridium makes with the SEC from time to time. There is no assurance that Iridium’s expectations will be realized. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if Iridium’s underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected, estimated or projected. Iridium’s forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Iridium undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements.