Typically satellite network launches have been marred by delays; this is not the case for Iridium Communications. In an unusual turn of events, Iridium has announced that the second launch for its Iridium NEXT satellite constellation has been moved up. The new target launch date is June 25th, 2017 at 1:24:59 PM PDT. Iridium Launch

Iridium was informed by their launch partner, SpaceX that range availability had opened up in SpaceX’s west coast launch facility, Vanderberg Air Force Base.

Iridium has partnered with SpaceX for a series of eight launches expected to continue through mid 2018. The launches will deliver a total of 75 satellites to low-Earth Orbit, replacing Iridium’s existing constellation of satellites. The Iridium NEXT satellites feature more powerful capabilities, including Aireon’s space-based global real-time aircraft tracking and surveillance service.

The second launch will deliver 10 more Iridium NEXT satellites to orbit, bringing the current total to 20 Iridium NEXT satellites in space. Of the 10 currently in orbit 8 of those are active.

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