The constellation of new low Earth orbit satellites will provide greater bandwidth for voice and data services in global maritime operations.
SpaceX has completed the Iridium Communications Next satellite constellation program, which will provide greater L-band connectivity in maritime areas worldwide.
The last 10 Iridium Next satellites were launched in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) SpaceX Falcon 9 missile from Vandenberg Air Force, USA, January 11. In total, less than two years ago, 75 satellites of $ 3 billion were invested.
It was the eighth and final launch of this huge campaign and ensures that Iridium can provide global coverage for ship tracking and communications. It will use 66 LEO satellites for this global scale with nine deployed as orbit.
Iridium replaces the original constellation of LEO satellites with these new units. It will use this constellation for its Iridium Certus L band communications service for navigation. This will include voice and data coverage from pole-to-pole commercial vessels, passenger ships, fishing vessels, marine support vessels and work boats.
Iridium Next consists of six polar orbital planes, each with 11 interconnected satellites. It creates web coverage worldwide. Since the satellites were launched in orbit, Iridium has replaced one with one slot transfer, a very choreographic space maneuver.
Iridium CEO Matt Desch said this eighth discovery completes the company's vision of a new constellation. However, much remains to be done before everything is finished.
"We are not yet completely over the finish line," said Descs, "since there is still work to be done to make these satellites work. When it is finished, our future will be available."
As of January 11, there are 60 satellites developed by Thales Alenia Space and developed by Northrop Grumman, and the last six were intended to be activated in the coming weeks. Six more satellites will remain as spare parts.