Iridium Communications‘ recently launched batch of 10 NEXT satellites began pre-operational testing and validation process with systems functioning nominally.
The satellite communications firm aims to launch an eighth batch later this year to complete program. The upcoming set would bring the total number of its new satellites to 75.
Scott Smith, chief operating officer of Iridium, said the company plans to settle all 10 new satellites into designated slots in plane five.
Iridium’s active constellation is made-up of 66 satellites — each constellation has six polar orbiting planes and each one of these planes contain 11 operational crosslinked satellites.