Aircraft tracking company Aireon initiated service with its space-based sensor network April 2, starting global monitoring of aircraft location and velocity on a near real-time basis.
“For the first time since the initial launch of the system over 20 years ago, zero traffic is going through the old satellites,” Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium, said Feb. 6 at the National Press Club here.
Iridium Communications is less than a week away from the final launch of its 75-satellite Iridium Next constellation, but could opt to launch six additional satellites if the right rideshare opportunity opens up, CEO Matt Desch said Jan. 3.
The new launch date, announced Dec. 7 by customer Iridium Communications, was driven by the additional two weeks SpaceX ended up needing to launch Spaceflight Industries’ “SmallSat Express” dedicated rideshare mission.
The last mission needed to complete Iridium Communications’ second-generation satellite constellation is scheduled for Dec. 30, Iridium CEO Matt Desch said today.
Iridium will deorbit the last of its original satellites around the beginning of 2019, entrusting its second-generation with all network responsibilities, CEO Matt Desch said Sept. 10.
Iridium Communications had what Chief Financial Officer Thomas Fitzpatrick called its “best quarterly revenue growth in company history,” logging $135 million for April, May and June, an increase of 21 percent over the same time last year.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 still sporting soot from its last mission successfully launched May 22 with five Iridium Next satellites and two science satellites for NASA and the German Research Center for Geosciences.
Aireon raised $69 million from a British partner, enabling the aircraft-tracking startup to begin making hosting payments to Iridium Communications.
Iridium expects to have its next-generation satellite constellation deployed and in service by this fall as it looks to win approvals for new maritime and aviation applications.
Large constellations of satellites planned for low Earth orbit (LEO) present little threat to Iridium’s business despite sharing the same orbit, CEO Matt Desch said April 26.
SpaceX closed out its most successful year to date Dec. 22 with the launch of 10 satellites for mobile satellite services operator Iridium, notching a personal best of 18 launches in a single year.
Mobile satellite services provider Iridium will use previously flown Falcon 9 first stages for its next two launches in order not to miss its mid-2018 goal for completing the Iridium Next constellation.
SpaceX carried out the third of eight missions for Iridium Communications early Oct. 9, launching ten more Iridium Next satellites on a Falcon 9 from California.
Mobile satellite services operator Iridium announced July 28 that SpaceX will conduct the third launch in its fleet replenishment Sept. 30 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
SpaceX completed a “doubleheader” of launches June 25 with the launch of a second set of next-generation Iridium satellites from California, two days after another Falcon 9 from the East Coast.
The system uses GPS data and onboard computers to monitor the rocket's trajectory and destroy it should it go off course. It was first tested earlier this year on a Falcon 9 launch from the Kennedy Space Center.