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.
Aireon, the aircraft-tracking venture Iridium Communications founded to help finance construction of the now nearly completed Iridium Next Constellation, is close to securing a new credit line that should allow the firm to catch up on $200 million in overdue payload hosting fees.
The last mission needed to complete Iridium Communications’ second-generation satellite constellation is scheduled for Dec. 30, Iridium CEO Matt Desch said today.
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Intelsat invested in Africa Mobile Networks (AMN), a U.K.-headquartered group of companies with telecom infrastructure in Africa, to reach "ultra-rural" parts of the sub-Saharan side of the continent.
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Thales InFlyt's new CEO Philippe Carette said he wants the company to offer worldwide Ka-band satellite connectivity for aircraft, a service that would position the company as a competitor with Viasat and Inmarsat.
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.
SES says its constellation of medium Earth orbit O3b satellites now has the ability to expand from an equatorial system to a global system thanks to new approvals from U.S. telecom regulators.
An NBN executive estimated the business service will use 15 percent of the capacity on the Sky Muster satellite system.
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.
The UN certified Iridium Communications to provide Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) services, ending Inmarsat’s monopoly on the internationally required service for ships, Iridium said May 21.
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 has set May 19 as the launch date for a Falcon 9 mission that will carry satellites for commercial fleet operator Iridium and a joint mission for NASA and Germany, according to Iridium.
SpaceX delivered its latest batch of Iridium Next satellites to orbit Friday morning, but stopped its live video feed nine minutes into the launch citing orders from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“We can put a satellite phone in the hands of folks who don’t know how to use it and it won’t make a hill of beans difference,” said Ken Flowers, Iridium Communications vice president government.