A 12 year campaign – including a two year, eight launch process – came to a successful conclusion for Iridium Communications on Friday, 11 January when the final batch of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites were successfully deployed into orbit by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Rounding out the launch campaign might have seemed like the end. But as with all missions, it was just the beginning as Iridium and their NEXT constellation is now primed to offer a full range of new capabilities.
Speaking to NASASpaceflight’s Chris Gebhardt before the final launch, Iridium Communications CEO Matt Desch enthusiastically discussed the upcoming steps for the newly launched NEXT constellation.
In terms of the new services, “The first service we’re turning on is already in some commercial use, but we’re going to announce the official commercial launch of it this month. And that is the Iridium Certus broadband service.
“Iridium Certus is our brand name, but it’s really more of a technology platform that we developed into Iridium NEXT. It’s a platform that scales all the way from low-speed IoT (Internet of Things) all the way up into higher speed broadband capabilities.”
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