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Iridium-NEXT

Iridium-NEXT [TAS]

Iridium Communications Inc. announced in June 2010 its comprehensive plan for funding, building and deploying its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT to replace the original Iridium constellation. Specifically, the Company announced the execution of a fixed price contract with Thales Alenia Space for the design and construction of satellites for the Iridium NEXT constellation.

Iridium's fixed price contract with Thales Alenia Space provides for the construction of the originally planned 72 operational satellites and in-orbit spares, plus an additional nine ground spares, which provide greater risk mitigation with respect to the new constellation. As a result of the expanded scope of the project, the total cost of Iridium NEXT, including all costs associated with development, manufacture and launch of the constellation, is now anticipated to be approximately $2.9 billion. In addition, Iridium has entered into an Authorization to Proceed (ATP), which allows Thales Alenia Space to commence work immediately on the development of satellites prior to completion of the financing, with the plan to commence the launch of the first satellites during the first quarter of 2015.

Each spacecraft employs an L-band phased array antenna for generation of the 48-beam, 4,700 km diameter cellular pattern on the Earth’s surface for communication with subscribers/users. Ka-band links are also provided for communications with ground-based gateways and for crosslinks with adjacent spacecraft in orbit. The cross-linked 66 satellite constellation forms a global network in space allowing communications from a ground or airborne user from any location on Earth to virtually anywhere else on Earth.

Orbital Sciences Corporation performs assembly, integration and test of the 81 satellites including primary and hosted payloads, shipment and launch integration services at their Gilbert, Arizona, facility.

Iridium has contracted with SpaceX to launch the constellation on Falcon-9 v1.1(R) boosters. Ten satellites are on each launch and seven missions are planned.

Kosmotras has received a contract to provide supplemental launch services on Dnepr launch vehicles. Dnepr can carry two satellites on each launch.

Secondary Payloads

Each Iridium-NEXT satellites can provide an opportunity to fly an 50 kg secondary sensor payload. 50 W average power is available for the payload. Data delivery and access to hosted payload will be performed trough the Iridium infrastructure or private gateways.

Aireon LLC, a joint venture with between Iridium and Canada’s air traffic agency NAV CANADA with support from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and suppliers Harris Corporation and ITT Exelis, will use space-qualified Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) receivers built into each of the 81 satellites in Iridium NEXT to provide fully global and continuous space-based monitoring and control of aircraft, even over oceans and remote regions where it is not currently possible.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Communication
Operator: Iridium Communications Inc.
Contractors: Thales Alenia Space (prime), Orbital (integration)
Equipment: L-band payload, Ka-band cross-links, Ka-band downlinks, ADS-B payload
Configuration: ELiTeBus
Propulsion: ?
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 10 years (design), 15 years (planned)
Mass: 800 kg
Orbit: 780 km × 780 km, 86.4° (initial / storage orbit: 667 km × 667 km, 86.4°)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Iridium-NEXT 1 - 2015 Do Dnepr with Iridium-NEXT 2
Iridium-NEXT 2 - 2015 Do Dnepr with Iridium-NEXT 1
Iridium-NEXT 3 - 2015 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Iridium-NEXT 4 - 2015 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Iridium-NEXT 5 - 2015 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Iridium-NEXT 6 - 2015 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Iridium-NEXT 7 - 2015 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Iridium-NEXT 8 - 2015 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12
Iridium-NEXT 9 - 2015 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12
Iridium-NEXT 10 - 2015 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12
Iridium-NEXT 11 - 2015 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12
Iridium-NEXT 12 - 2015 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Iridium-NEXT 13 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22
Iridium-NEXT 14 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22
Iridium-NEXT 15 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22
Iridium-NEXT 16 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22
Iridium-NEXT 17 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22
Iridium-NEXT 18 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22
Iridium-NEXT 19 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22
Iridium-NEXT 20 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22
Iridium-NEXT 21 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22
Iridium-NEXT 22 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Iridium-NEXT 23 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32
Iridium-NEXT 24 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32
Iridium-NEXT 25 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32
Iridium-NEXT 26 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32
Iridium-NEXT 27 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32
Iridium-NEXT 28 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32
Iridium-NEXT 29 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32
Iridium-NEXT 30 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32
Iridium-NEXT 31 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32
Iridium-NEXT 32 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
Iridium-NEXT 33 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42
Iridium-NEXT 34 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42
Iridium-NEXT 35 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 33, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42
Iridium-NEXT 36 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42
Iridium-NEXT 37 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42
Iridium-NEXT 38 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42
Iridium-NEXT 39 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42
Iridium-NEXT 40 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42
Iridium-NEXT 41 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 42
Iridium-NEXT 42 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41
Iridium-NEXT 43 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52
Iridium-NEXT 44 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 43, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52
Iridium-NEXT 45 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 43, 44, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52
Iridium-NEXT 46 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 43, 44, 45, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52
Iridium-NEXT 47 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 43, 44, 45, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52
Iridium-NEXT 48 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 49, 50, 51, 52
Iridium-NEXT 49 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 51, 52
Iridium-NEXT 50 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51, 52
Iridium-NEXT 51 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 52
Iridium-NEXT 52 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51
Iridium-NEXT 53 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62
Iridium-NEXT 54 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62
Iridium-NEXT 55 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 53, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62
Iridium-NEXT 56 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 53, 54, 55, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62
Iridium-NEXT 57 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 53, 54, 55, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62
Iridium-NEXT 58 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62
Iridium-NEXT 59 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62
Iridium-NEXT 60 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59 61, 62
Iridium-NEXT 61 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 62
Iridium-NEXT 62 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61
Iridium-NEXT 63 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72
Iridium-NEXT 64 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 63, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72
Iridium-NEXT 65 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 63, 64, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72
Iridium-NEXT 66 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 63, 64, 65, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72
Iridium-NEXT 67 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 63, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72
Iridium-NEXT 68 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 69, 70, 71, 72
Iridium-NEXT 69 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 72
Iridium-NEXT 70 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 71, 72
Iridium-NEXT 71 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 72
Iridium-NEXT 72 - Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.1(R) with Iridium-NEXT 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71
Iridium-NEXT 73 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 74 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 75 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 76 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 77 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 78 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 79 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 80 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 81 - with Iridium-NEXT
Further Iridium missions: