SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Friday, delivering the final 10 Iridium Next satellites to low earth orbit.
All have successfully communicated with the Iridium Satellite Network Operations Center.
This was the eighth and final launch for Iridium, which included 75 new satellites deployed over the span of two years.Iridium has invested $3 billion to replace its original satellite system with a new, higher-bandwidth network.Services provided will include global voice, Iridium Certus (providing L-band broadband connectivity), and the Aireon aircraft surveillance system.The Aireon system is intended to make it impossible for an airplane ever to go missing anywhere in the world.
The Iridium satellite constellation is the only communications network with pole-to-pole coverage of the entire planet.It is comprised of six polar orbiting planes, each containing 11 crosslinked satellites totaling 66 in the operational constellation, creating a web of coverage around the Earth.
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