Iridium Adds Eighth Launch with SpaceX for Satellite Rideshare with … – Nasdaq


Iridium strikes deal with GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences to launch 5 further spare Iridium NEXT satellites in addition to NASA/GFZ’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-on (GRACE-FO) Mission

MCLEAN, Va., Jan. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM) introduced right now that it has contracted with SpaceX for an eighth Falcon 9 launch. Along for the experience are the dual-satellites of the NASA/GFZ Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, which will probably be deployed right into a separate low-Earth orbit, marking the primary rideshare deal for Iridium. An settlement of this type is economical for all events, and affords Iridium the power to launch 5 further satellites for its subsequent-era international satellite tv for pc community.   The rideshare is anticipated to launch out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California by early 2018.

“This is a very smart way to get additional Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit,” stated Matt Desch, chief government officer at Iridium. “This launch provides added resiliency to our network for not much more than we had planned originally to launch 72 satellites, including two with Kosmotras.”  Desch continued, “We are pleased to be sharing a rocket with NASA and GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences for this additional SpaceX launch, and GFZ has been a great business partner throughout this process.” 

Not solely is that this launch a uncommon alternative to journey with NASA, however it additionally represents a very compelling economical answer. The Company had all the time anticipated to launch further satellites after the Iridium NEXT development was accomplished to make the most of the 9 floor spares constructed into this system. This rideshare represents a cloth financial savings from different supplemental launch choices because of the effectivity of sharing the rocket with GRACE-FO, and the incremental value in the course of the Iridium NEXT development interval is immaterial when contemplating the avoidance of unspent quantities contemplated underneath the Kosmotras program. It additionally affords Iridium the chance to rearrange its launch and satellite tv for pc drifting plan and launch these 5 satellites instantly into their operational orbital aircraft whereas growing the variety of deliberate in-orbit spares by three satellites.  Further, this improvement permits Iridium to finish the entire operational constellation at a quicker fee than it will have with seven launches. Iridium will nonetheless contemplate launching satellites with Kosmotras as soon as approvals can be found. 

Iridium NEXT is the corporate’s subsequent-era international satellite tv for pc constellation.  Replacing Iridium’s present community of low-Earth orbit satellites, Iridium NEXT is poised to re-energize the cellular satellite tv for pc business with quicker speeds and better throughputs for all business verticals.  The launch of the Iridium NEXT constellation represents an unprecedented feat for satellite tv for pc communications, and has been coined the most important “tech refresh” of its type.

The Company has contracted with SpaceX for seven devoted Iridium NEXT launches, deploying 70 Iridium NEXT satellites into low-Earth orbit, throughout a 13-month interval out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This eighth launch will improve the constellation’s rely to 75 complete in-orbit satellites, 9 of which can function on-orbit spares. The first set of Iridium NEXT satellites was efficiently launched on January 14th and is at present underneath check in orbit.  For extra details about Iridium NEXT, please go to

GRACE-FO is a successor to the joint NASA/DLR/GFZ GRACE mission, which launched in 2002 and continues to be in operation. The twin GRACE-FO satellites, which function in tandem, will proceed GRACE’s legacy of monitoring modifications within the distribution of Earth’s mass over time by creating month-to-month maps of Earth’s gravity subject. The actions of plenty of water, ice, air, and the strong Earth are pushed by processes comparable to precipitation, droughts, floods, the melting of snow and ice, floor water utilization and storage, and even tectonic occasions similar to giant earthquakes. GRACE is enhancing our understanding and information of quite a lot of necessary Earth system processes:  the terrestrial water cycle and modifications in ice sheets, glaciers and sea degree, floor and deep-ocean currents; and variations in Earth’s lithosphere and mantle density. These measurements present a singular view of the Earth system and have far-reaching advantages to society and the world’s inhabitants. The mission is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

About Iridium Communications Inc.

Iridium® is the one cellular voice and knowledge satellite tv for pc communications community that spans all the globe. Iridium allows connections between individuals, organizations and belongings to and from anyplace, in actual time. Together with its ecosystem of companion corporations, Iridium delivers an revolutionary and wealthy portfolio of dependable options for markets that require really international communications. The firm has a serious improvement program underway for its subsequent-era community — Iridium NEXT. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its widespread inventory trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market beneath the ticker image IRDM. For extra details about Iridium merchandise, providers and companion options, go to

Forward Looking Statements

Statements on this press launch that aren’t purely historic information might represent ahead-wanting statements as outlined within the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company has based mostly these statements on its present expectations and the knowledge presently obtainable to us. Forward-looking statements on this presentation embrace statements relating to the timing for deployment, improvement and capabilities of the Iridium NEXT constellation and providers to be provided over the constellation, together with the timing of the rideshare launch. Forward-looking statements may be recognized by the phrases “anticipates,” “may,” “can,” “believes,” “expects,” “projects,” “intends,” “likely,” “will,” “to be” and different expressions which might be predictions or point out future occasions, developments or prospects. These ahead-wanting statements contain recognized and unknown dangers, uncertainties and different elements which will trigger the precise outcomes, efficiency or achievements of Iridium to vary materially from any future outcomes, efficiency or achievements expressed or implied by such ahead-wanting statements. These dangers and uncertainties embrace, however aren’t restricted to, uncertainties relating to potential delays within the Iridium NEXT deployment, the event and performance of Iridium NEXT and associated providers, and the corporate’s capacity to take care of the well being, capability and content material of its satellite tv for pc constellation, in addition to basic business and financial circumstances, and aggressive, authorized, governmental and technological elements. Other elements that would trigger precise outcomes to vary materially from these indicated by the ahead-wanting statements embrace these elements listed beneath the caption “Risk Factors” within the Company’s Form 10-Okay for the yr ended December 31, 2015, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on February 25, 2016, in addition to different filings Iridium makes with the SEC every now and then. There is not any assurance that Iridium’s expectations shall be realized. If a number of of those dangers or uncertainties materialize, or if Iridium’s underlying assumptions show incorrect, precise outcomes might range materially from these anticipated, estimated or projected. Iridium’s ahead-wanting statements converse solely as of the date of this press launch, and Iridium undertakes no obligation to replace ahead-wanting statements.

Press Contact:

Diane HockenberryIridium Communications Inc.
+1 (703) 287-7421

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