Iridium to launch new telecom satellites

Jun 16, 2010
US-based Iridium Communications Wednesday announced plans to launch a new fleet of satellites for global voice and data communications with Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX).

US-based Iridium Communications Wednesday announced plans to launch a new fleet of satellites for global voice and data communications with Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX).

The 492-million-dollar contract is the largest single commercial launch deal ever signed, the companies said, and will allow the telecoms firm to put up a new generation of low-orbit satellites with more capacity.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 will carry multiple Iridium NEXT satellites per vehicle from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California between 2015 and 2017.

Iridium said it may contract with at least one additional launch services provider.

"This is the third major building block on the road to Iridium NEXT," said Matt Desch, chief executive of Iridium, which provides phone communications in remote parts of the world.

"SpaceX has combined the best of aerospace and commercial best practices to design reliable and cost-effective access to space, and will be the beneficiary of that effort."

SpaceX expects to work with the US space agency NASA to transport materials to the and possibly astronauts as well, in the wake of cutbacks in the US shuttle program.

Explore further: Scientists twist radio beams to send data: Transmissions reach speeds of 32 gigabits per second

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

SpaceX Plans Reusable Seven Person Capsule

Mar 15, 2006

SpaceX said it plans to develop a reusable capsule that could carry a crew of up to seven into low Earth orbit, making it a competitor to assume some of the tasks of NASA's space shuttle fleet after it is retired.

Recommended for you

Fracking's environmental impacts scrutinised

18 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —Greenhouse gas emissions from the production and use of shale gas would be comparable to conventional natural gas, but the controversial energy source actually faired better than renewables on some environmental ...

Samsung may launch first Tizen phone in India

1 hour ago

Samsung Electronics Co., which faces a slowdown in emerging market smartphone sales, will release its long-delayed Tizen-powered handset in India before the end of this year, a report said Monday.

Microsoft delays launch of Xbox in China

3 hours ago

Microsoft, which was due to launch the Xbox One in China on Tuesday, has said it will put back the "historic" event to later this year, slowing what was billed as the first game console to enter the market ...

User comments : 0