Thales Alenia Space has developed simulation systems that will be used by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. in the testing phase of communications satellites for Iridium Communications‘ next-generation constellation.
SpaceX was chosen to help launch Iridium NEXT satellites into space with a Falcon9 rocket under a $453.1 million contract between both companies, Iridium said Tuesday.
“With the support of our partners, Thales Alenia Space and SpaceX, we continue to make steady progress towards the launch of Iridium NEXT and are working to ensure our production satellites are fully operational on day one in space,” said Scott Smith, Iridium chief operating officer.
Iridium partnered with international space company Kosmotras to launch the program’s first two satellites.
The satellite platform is designed to support Iridium’s PRIME turnkey portfolio of hosted payloads for space missions.
Simulation tests are intended to evaluate the Iridium satellite’s mechanical and structural design and to demonstrate how the satellite will release from its dispenser when in space, Iridium says.