MCLEAN, Va. – October 11, 2017 – Iridium Communications announced today that the third set of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites, launched Monday by SpaceX, are functioning nominally and have begun the testing and validation process. This batch of 10 satellites was launched out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, increasing the total number of Iridium NEXT satellites in space to 30.
“Since Monday’s success, all things are pointing positive,” said Scott Smith, chief operating officer at Iridium. “The team at the Satellite Network Operations Center (SNOC) is ready and has already been working around the clock since their deployment Monday. Unlike previous launches, where some satellites were sent drifting to their operational orbital plane, all 10 satellites from this launch will go directly into operation once testing is completed. This phase of satellite maneuvers and testing is where the Iridium satellite network operations teams truly shine.”
Now, and for approximately the next 45 days, these newly launched satellites will undergo a series of testing and validation procedures, ensuring they are ready for integration with the operational constellation. Once testing is completed, Iridium will also hand over control of Aireon’s Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast hosted payload, to the team at Aireon’s Hosted Payload Operations Center (HPOC), also in Leesburg, Va.
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.