LOS ANGELES – A space rocket delivered 10 satellites to Earth on Earth on Friday, ending a two-year campaign by Iridium Communications Inc. to replace its original fleet with a new generation of mobile communications technology and add global capability to monitor aircraft.
The Falcon 9 rocket flew out of the Vandenberg air base at 7:31 am and climbed over the Pacific west of Los Angeles. The previously used first stage was once again bubbled to the "droneship" in the ocean, while the above phase continued into orbit.
The eighth and final launch of the $ 3 billion Iridium NEXT project has resulted in the delivery of 75 new satellites for the orbit of McLean, Virginia. Sixty-six will work and nine will serve as spare parts in orbit. Six other satellites stay on the floor as a spare part.
All ten new-built satellites communicated with the Iridium Network Operations Center and were ready for testing, they reported from the company.
Iridium moved his new satellites to positions that were held by the old ones who descended until they were burned in the atmosphere. So far, 60 new satellites have been operating.
The first Iridium satellites began in the 1990s to offer voice, data, fax and paging services to customers with handheld phones and pagers Iridium.
Among the new capabilities of the fleet upgrade, Iridium Certus is described as a broadband solution for purposes ranging from life-to-service and command-line unmanned and tracking systems.
The Iridium NEXT satellites also have Aireon LLC air space traffic control over 100% of the world.
Aireon collects data that is known as auto-dependent control and broadcast information automatically and in real time, even from remote areas across the world's oceans.
"Today, on our journey, we have crossed a huge milestone in order to revolutionize air traffic control and we are just a few weeks away from a fully functioning system," said Don Thoma, CEO of Aireon. "Now that the launch has been completed, the final integration and testing of the recently launched freight can begin, after which the world's first truly real, truly global view of air traffic will be truly real."
Aireon said he was already processing over 13 billion ADS-B messages per month.
Another difference compared to new satellites is that observers do not know: "Iridium rockets." New satellites do not reflect sunlight like the old ones.