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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 v1.2 boosters. Ten satellites are on each launch and seven missions are planned. Later an eighth shared launch of five satellites was ordered. Six satellites will remain on the ground as spares.

Kosmotras has received a contract to provide supplemental launch services on Dnepr launch vehicles. Dnepr can carry two satellites on each launch. One Dnepr launch, carrying the first two satellites, was planned, but it was delayed and finally cancelled due to bureaucratic hurdles.

Note: Iridium-NEXT 127 was renamed Iridium-NEXT 100 before launch due to a ground software issue, which prevented the use of the number 127.

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. The payloads are based on Harris Corporations's AppStar reconfigurable platform.

58 satellites will carry an AIS (Automatic Identification System) payload for exactEarth to track maritime traffic. These exactView-RT payloads allow for real-time ship tracking data with revisit times of 1 minute. The payloads are based on Harris Corporations's AppStar reconfigurable platform.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Communication, traffic monitoring
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, AIS payload (on 58 satellites)
Configuration: ELiTeBus-1000
Propulsion: ?
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 10 years (design), 15 years (planned)
Mass: 860 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 100 (ex Iridium-NEXT 127) 2017-061B 09.10.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 107, 119, 122, 125, 129, 132, 133, 136, 139
Iridium-NEXT 101 - not launched ground test model
Iridium-NEXT 102 2017-003D 14.01.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 103, 104, 105, 106, 108, 109, 111, 112, 114
Iridium-NEXT 103 2017-003B 14.01.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 102, 104, 105, 106, 108, 109, 111, 112, 114
Iridium-NEXT 104 2017-003F 14.01.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 102, 103, 105, 106, 108, 109, 111, 112, 114
Iridium-NEXT 105 2017-003E 14.01.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 102, 103, 104, 106, 108, 109, 111, 112, 114
Iridium-NEXT 106 2017-003A 14.01.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 102, 103, 104, 105, 108, 109, 111, 112, 114
Iridium-NEXT 107 2017-061F 09.10.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 119, 122, 125, 127, 129, 132, 133, 136, 139
Iridium-NEXT 108 2017-003H 14.01.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 109, 111, 112, 114
Iridium-NEXT 109 2017-003C 14.01.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 108, 111, 112, 114
Iridium-NEXT 110 2018-047F 22.05.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2(ex) with Iridium-NEXT 147, 152, 161, 162, GRACE-FO 1, GRACE-FO 2
Iridium-NEXT 111 2017-003K 14.01.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 108, 109, 112, 114
Iridium-NEXT 112 2017-003J 14.01.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 108, 109, 111, 114
Iridium-NEXT 113 2017-039A 25.06.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 115, 117, 118, 120, 121, 123, 124, 126, 128
Iridium-NEXT 114 2017-003G 14.01.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 108, 109, 111, 112
Iridium-NEXT 115 2017-039D 25.06.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 113, 117, 118, 120, 121, 123, 124, 126, 128
Iridium-NEXT 116 2017-083C 23.12.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2(ex) with Iridium-NEXT 130, 131, 134, 135, 137, 138, 141, 151, 153
Iridium-NEXT 117 2017-039F 25.06.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 113, 115, 118, 120, 121, 123, 124, 126, 128
Iridium-NEXT 118 2017-039E 25.06.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 113, 115, 117, 120, 121, 123, 124, 126, 128
Iridium-NEXT 119 2017-061E 09.10.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 100, 107, 122, 125, 129, 132, 133, 136, 139
Iridium-NEXT 120 2017-039C 25.06.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 113, 115, 117, 118, 121, 123, 124, 126, 128
Iridium-NEXT 121 2017-039K 25.06.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 113, 115, 117, 118, 120, 123, 124, 126, 128
Iridium-NEXT 122 2017-061C 09.10.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 100, 107, 119, 125, 129, 132, 133, 136, 139
Iridium-NEXT 123 2017-039B 25.06.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 113, 115, 117, 118, 120, 121, 124, 126, 128
Iridium-NEXT 124 2017-039H 25.06.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 113, 115, 117, 118, 120, 121, 123, 126, 128
Iridium-NEXT 125 2017-061K 09.10.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 100, 107, 119, 122, 129, 132, 133, 136, 139
Iridium-NEXT 126 2017-039G 25.06.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 113, 115, 117, 118, 120, 121, 123, 124, 128
Iridium-NEXT 128 2017-039J 25.06.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 113, 115, 117, 118, 120, 121, 123, 124, 126
Iridium-NEXT 129 2017-061D 09.10.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 100, 107, 119, 122, 125, 132, 133, 136, 139
Iridium-NEXT 130 2017-083D 23.12.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2(ex) with Iridium-NEXT 116, 131, 134, 135, 137, 138, 141, 151, 153
Iridium-NEXT 131 2017-083K 23.12.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2(ex) with Iridium-NEXT 116, 130, 134, 135, 137, 138, 141, 151, 153
Iridium-NEXT 132 2017-061G 09.10.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 100, 107, 119, 122, 125, 129, 133, 136, 139
Iridium-NEXT 133 2017-061A 09.10.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 100, 107, 119, 122, 125, 129, 132, 136, 139
Iridium-NEXT 134 2017-083F 23.12.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2(ex) with Iridium-NEXT 116, 130, 131, 135, 137, 138, 141, 151, 153
Iridium-NEXT 135 2017-083A 23.12.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2(ex) with Iridium-NEXT 116, 130, 131, 134, 137, 138, 141, 151, 153
Iridium-NEXT 136 2017-061H 09.10.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 100, 107, 119, 122, 125, 129, 132, 133, 139
Iridium-NEXT 137 2017-083G 23.12.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2(ex) with Iridium-NEXT 116, 130, 131, 134, 135, 138, 141, 151, 153
Iridium-NEXT 138 2017-083B 23.12.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2(ex) with Iridium-NEXT 116, 130, 131, 134, 135, 137, 141, 151, 153
Iridium-NEXT 139 2017-061J 09.10.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 100, 107, 119, 122, 125, 129, 132, 133, 136
Iridium-NEXT 140 2018-030D 30.03.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 148, 149, 150, 157
Iridium-NEXT 141 2017-083H 23.12.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2(ex) with Iridium-NEXT 116, 130, 131, 134, 135, 137, 138, 151, 153
Iridium-NEXT 142 2018-030J 30.03.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 140, 143, 144, 145, 146, 148, 149, 150, 157
Iridium-NEXT 143 2018-030K 30.03.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 140, 142, 144, 145, 146, 148, 149, 150, 157
Iridium-NEXT 144 2018-030G 30.03.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 140, 142, 143, 145, 146, 148, 149, 150, 157
Iridium-NEXT 145 2018-030E 30.03.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 140, 142, 143, 144, 146, 148, 149, 150, 157
Iridium-NEXT 146 2018-030F 30.03.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 140, 142, 143, 144, 145, 148, 149, 150, 157
Iridium-NEXT 147 2018-047E 22.05.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2(ex) with Iridium-NEXT 110, 152, 161, 162, GRACE-FO 1, GRACE-FO 2
Iridium-NEXT 148 2018-030A 30.03.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 140, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 149, 150, 157
Iridium-NEXT 149 2018-030B 30.03.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 140, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 148, 150, 157
Iridium-NEXT 150 2018-030H 30.03.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 140, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 148, 149, 157
Iridium-NEXT 151 2017-083E 23.12.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2(ex) with Iridium-NEXT 116, 130, 131, 134, 135, 137, 138, 141, 153
Iridium-NEXT 152 2018-047D 22.05.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2(ex) with Iridium-NEXT 110, 147, 161, 162, GRACE-FO 1, GRACE-FO 2
Iridium-NEXT 153 2017-083J 23.12.2017 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2(ex) with Iridium-NEXT 116, 130, 131, 134, 135, 137, 138, 141, 151
Iridium-NEXT 154 2018-061F 25.07.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 155, 156, 158, 159, 160, 163, 164, 165, 166
Iridium-NEXT 155 2018-061E 25.07.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 154, 156, 158, 159, 160, 163, 164, 165, 166
Iridium-NEXT 156 2018-061H 25.07.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 154, 155, 158, 159, 160, 163, 164, 165, 166
Iridium-NEXT 157 2018-030C 30.03.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 with Iridium-NEXT 140, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 148, 149, 150
Iridium-NEXT 158 2018-061C 25.07.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 154, 155, 156, 159, 160, 163, 164, 165, 166
Iridium-NEXT 159 2018-061K 25.07.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 154, 155, 156, 158, 160, 163, 164, 165, 166
Iridium-NEXT 160 2018-061A 25.07.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 154, 155, 156, 158, 159, 163, 164, 165, 166
Iridium-NEXT 161 2018-047C 22.05.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2(ex) with Iridium-NEXT 110, 147, 152, 162, GRACE-FO 1, GRACE-FO 2
Iridium-NEXT 162 2018-047G 22.05.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2(ex) with Iridium-NEXT 110, 147, 152, 161, GRACE-FO 1, GRACE-FO 2
Iridium-NEXT 163 2018-061G 25.07.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 154, 155, 156, 158, 159, 160, 164, 165, 166
Iridium-NEXT 164 2018-061J 25.07.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 154, 155, 156, 158, 159, 160, 163, 165, 166
Iridium-NEXT 165 2018-061D 25.07.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 154, 155, 156, 158, 159, 160, 163, 164, 166
Iridium-NEXT 166 2018-061B 25.07.2018 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 154, 155, 156, 158, 159, 160, 163, 164, 165
Iridium-NEXT 167 - 2019 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 175, 176, 180
Iridium-NEXT 168 - 2019 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 167, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 175, 176, 180
Iridium-NEXT 169 - 2019 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 167, 168, 170, 171, 172, 173, 175, 176, 180
Iridium-NEXT 170 - 2019 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 167, 168, 169, 171, 172, 173, 175, 176, 180
Iridium-NEXT 171 - 2019 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 167, 168, 169, 170, 172, 173, 175, 176, 180
Iridium-NEXT 172 - 2019 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 173, 175, 176, 180
Iridium-NEXT 173 - 2019 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 175, 176, 180
Iridium-NEXT 174 - with Iridium-NEXTx
Iridium-NEXT 175 - 2019 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 176, 180
Iridium-NEXT 176 - 2019 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 175, 180
Iridium-NEXT 177 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 178 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 179 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 180 - 2019 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Iridium-NEXT 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 175, 176
Iridium-NEXT 181 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 182 - with Iridium-NEXT

Note: The assignment of individual satellites to the corresponding launches may change.

Further Iridium missions: