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Fifth Iridium “˜NEXT' Satellite Batch Enters Pre-Operational Test Phase; Scott Smith Comments

Fifth Iridium “˜NEXT' Satellite Batch Enters Pre-Operational Test Phase; Scott Smith Comments - top government contractors - best government contracting event

Fifth Iridium “˜NEXT' Satellite Batch Enters Pre-Operational Test Phase; Scott Smith Comments - top government contractors - best government contracting event

A fifth batch of 10 Iridium Communications satellites entered testing and validation phase shortly after the latest set in the company’s NEXT constellation launched into space.

Friday’s launch increased the number of NEXT satellites in orbit to 50 and marked the second use of SpaceX‘s Falcon 9 first-stage booster, Iridium said Tuesday.

“I’m beyond proud of our team at the Satellite Network Operations Center, which has been operating like a well-oiled machine,” said Scott Smith, chief operating officer of Iridium.

“Tests and diagnostics began just minutes after the new satellites deployed, and all systems are functioning nominally,” Smith added.

The Iridium constellation consists of six polar orbiting planes and each plane contains 11 operational crosslinked satellites built to facilitate real-time communications for government and commercial clients worldwide.

The company aims to conduct an additional NEXT launches within the year to bring its total number of new in-orbit satellites to 75, including nine spares.

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Written by Joanna Crews

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