Satellite fleet operator EchoStar Corp. on Nov. 23 said its EchoStar 23 tri-band telecommunications satellite for Brazil is expected to launch Jan. 8 or Jan. 9 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
The agency providing U.S. government access to Iridium’s global constellation of mobile communications satellites on Nov. 9 urged other nations to join the program to take advantage of its fixed-price, unlimited-access feature.
Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications expects to complete negotiations with its lenders and its satellite manufacturer by the end of the year ro loosen payment obligations to ride out the delay in the launch of its second-generation constellation.
The commercial company with arguably the most at stake in a quick and successful return to flight of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on Sept. 8 gave a ringing endorsement of the launch-service provider even as SpaceX founder Elon Musk issued statements saying the investigation will be complicated.
Veteran satellite industry analyst Chris Quilty says SpaceX could be looking at a six-month stand down if its accident investigation reveals that internal tankage or plumbing on the Falcon caused the Sept. 1 pre-flight failure.
Shares in some satellite operators who were customers of SpaceX fell sharply Sept. 1 after a Falcon 9 rocket was destroyed in a launch pad incident.
The apparent explosion of a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle during a static fire test Sept. 1 could put into jeopardy the sale of one satellite operator.
Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications on July 28 said it had opened negotiations with its lenders and its satellite manufacturer to reduce or delay Iridium payments in the event Iridium’s Aireon air traffic surveillance affiliate cannot make its scheduled payment to Iridium.
Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications on June 14 said the launch of the first 10 second-generation Iridium Next satellites had slipped by another month, to Sept. 12 at the earliest, because of bottlenecks at the Vandenberg Air Force Base spaceport.
Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications on April 28 said the contracting team for its second-generation Iridium Next constellation had put past delays behind it and would be ready for a first launch of 10 satellites in late July aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Iridium, frustrated by Russian red tape, to launch first 10 Iridium Next satellites with SpaceX in July
Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications on Feb. 25 said it has revamped the launch sequence for its 72-satellite Iridium Next constellation because of red tape in Russia and now plans a first launch of 10 satellites aboard a SpaceX rocket in July.
The latest slip for Iridium's second-generation constellation was caused by a component that had posed issues for prime contractor Thales Alenia Space previously.
In a July 30 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Iridium said it was having trouble assembling the insurance package that its creditors require as a condition of their loan.
The partnership between exactEarth of Canada and Harris Corp. of the United States to place maritime data-collection payloads on 58 Iridium Next low-orbiting satellites is structured so that each company benefits from the other’s commercial success, according to exactEarth.
The inaugural launch — aboard a Russian Dnepr — of mobile satellite service provider Iridium’s second-generation constellation may slip beyond October but the company is still on track to put 72 satellites into orbit by late 2017.
Harris and exactEarth announced a partnership in which Harris will use exactEarth technology to mount ship-monitoring payloads on Iridium Next satellites.