Iridium Communications announced SpaceX successfully launched a new lot of five Iridium Next satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The Iridium satellites were joined by the twin spacecraft for the NASA/German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ) Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, in a unique "rideshare" launch. Shortly after deployment, Iridium confirmed successful communication with all five new satellites, formally bringing the total number of Iridium Next satellites in orbit to 55.
55 Iridium® NEXT satellites are now in orbit and performance is exceeding expectations. The next two sets of 10 Iridium® NEXT satellites are nearing completion and will be soon awaiting the 7th and 8th launches.
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