Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium Communications, told Motherboard’s Daniel Oberhaus in an interview published Sunday about the company’s reason for partnering with SpaceX to launch its constellation of Iridium NEXT communications satellites into orbit.
“In many ways, the Falcon 9 was built around the Iridium payload because we were the first ones to work with SpaceX,” Desch said.
“Launching is about a third of our costs and if SpaceX wasn’t around, I just couldn’t afford it.”
Desch, a 2018 Wash100 recipient, cited during the interview the prevalence of the internet of things and its potential advantages to Iridium.
He noted that IoT firms that seek to connect their devices represent more than half of the company’s almost 1 million subscriptions.
Iridium plans to launch in March the fifth batch of Iridium NEXT satellites aboard a previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket and expects to complete its satellite constellation by mid-2018.