SpaceXIn March 2010, the Company entered into an agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (“SpaceX”) to secure SpaceX as the primary launch services provider for Iridium NEXT (as amended to date, the “SpaceX Agreement”). The total price under the SpaceX Agreement for seven launches and a reflight option in the event of a launch failure is $453.1 million. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is configured to carry ten Iridium NEXT satellites to orbit for each of these seven launches. In November 2016, the Company entered into an agreement for an eighth launch with SpaceX to launch five additional satellites and share the launch with GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences (“GFZ”). This launch took place in May 2018. The total price under the SpaceX Agreement for the eighth launch was $61.9 million. GFZ paid Iridium $29.8 million to include in the launch NASA’s two Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On satellites. As of June 30, 2018, the Company had made aggregate payments of $486.4 million to SpaceX, which were capitalized as construction in progress within property and equipment, net in the accompanying condensed consolidated balance sheet.
Iridium and SpaceX Successfully Complete Dispenser Qualification TestsTrio of Tests Prove Structural Integrity and Durability of Launch EquipmentIridium Communications Inc. IRDM +0.01% and SpaceX today announced the successful completion of dispenser qualification testing for the Iridium NEXT constellation. The dispenser is the mission-unique assembly that holds the satellites during launch and manages the perfectly timed separation of each satellite from the rocket, placing each of the satellites into its proper orbit. The testing program, a key milestone in the Iridium NEXT constellation build, included four types of testing on the satellite dispenser: fit check, separation and shock testing, a modal survey, and static loads testing. Overall the tests ensure launch shock environment, mechanical form, fit and function, separation dynamics, fundamental frequency and structural integrity.SpaceX is charged with delivering the majority of satellites for the Iridium NEXT constellation into their low Earth orbit. At each launch, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will carry 10 satellites. In total, SpaceX will launch 70 satellites for the Iridium NEXT constellation over a planned period of two years. Iridium is SpaceX's largest commercial customer, and, with an investment of $453.1 million, the Iridium deal represents the largest single commercial space launch contract in history.>>
Hmmm. I'm having trouble coming up with an acronym that spells out P E Z for this device.
70 satellites will be put in orbit by seven launches of 10 satellites each on the Falcon 9, plus two of the 800 kilograms (1,800 lb) Iridium NEXT satellites on a single launch of the an ISC Kosmotras Dnepr rocket, beginning in 2015 and completing the refresh of the entire constellation by 2017, as of August 2012.
Payload Ejection giZmo
I wonder if Irdium get a discount on every flight where booster is recovered.
Quote from: TrevorMonty on 07/05/2014 12:44 amI wonder if Irdium get a discount on every flight where booster is recovered.I doubt it, if there's a discount for anyone, it would be the people flying on a reused core. Only after reusability is demonstrated will it start to impact the prices of new cores. It may be a matter of moving sacrificial f9 1.1 missions to reusable FH missions.
"... manages the perfectly timed separation of each satellite from the rocket, placing each of the satellites into its proper orbit."Can we infer from that, that each satellite is ejected while the second stage is under power? Otherwise wouldn't the stage have to re-light (9 re-lights is a lot!) to put the individual satellites into different orbits?
Ejecting anything you want to keep while under power seems like a bad idea since it would fall behind the rocket engine. Ejecting a payload fairing is hard enough and it is not designed to survive the event, much less with sensitive equipment on board. I think it is more likely that it gives them a nudge after just the right amount of glide time so they are evenly spaced. Either that or the timing sensitivity is overstated and they just release them as they approach the intended inclination and let an on board system adjust the trajectory. I'm no rocket scientist so correct me if I've flunked orbital dynamics class.
It might be worth noting that the Trident II ejects it's MIRV's while still thrusting... But that's an SLBM reentry vehicle and not a spacecraft satellite
@IridiumCommWe’ve completed the first successful end-to-end test call using #IridiumNEXT hardware: http://investor.iridium.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=858159 … #Milestone
July 8, 2014First Successful Call Completed Over Iridium Next HardwareMCLEAN, Va., July 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) and its prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space, announced an important milestone in the development of the new Iridium NEXT constellation by completing the first successful end-to-end test call using Iridium NEXT hardware. The call provides initial validation of the L-band hardware and processing software that will be used in the Iridium NEXT constellation.The test call was placed using an Iridium satellite phone. The call path was routed through Iridium NEXT satellite hardware components simulating the connection to a satellite, through Iridium's upgraded ground network, through the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and ultimately to a cell phone. This test marks a significant milestone in Iridium's system integration and testing efforts, and the first time a full end-to-end verification of the call flow has been accomplished. This is also the first step in a comprehensive effort to fully validate service capability through the Iridium NEXT system, which is being readied for the first scheduled launch in 2015."Placing the first call through Iridium NEXT hardware is a big step for our team as they work to ensure high quality satellites will be ready for launch," said Scott Smith, chief operating officer. "The call quality we experienced was remarkable, and this achievement is a reflection of many long hours of design and development work by a very talented group of partners."Iridium NEXT is the Company's next generation satellite constellation, offering improved bandwidth, improved data speeds and the global coverage Iridium is known for. It will include a hosted payload for AireonSM, the first truly global aircraft tracking and surveillance capability, extending ADS-B coverage and benefits to every flight path across the planet. The Iridium NEXT satellite network will also serve as a platform for the company's Iridium PRIMESM offering, a turnkey solution for hosted payloads offering significant cost savings for civil, commercial and government payload customers.For more information on Iridium NEXT, go to www.iridium.com.About Iridium Communications Inc.Iridium® is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. The company has a major development program underway for its next-generation network — Iridium NEXT. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM. For more information about Iridium products, services and partner solutions, visit www.iridium.com.Forward-Looking StatementsStatements in this press release that are not purely historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company has based these statements on its current expectations and the information currently available to us. Forward-looking statements in this presentation include statements regarding the development of the Iridium NEXT constellation; expected Iridium NEXT deployment and launch schedule; expected Iridium NEXT functionality; and the development and functionality of Aireon and Iridium PRIME satellites. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the words "anticipates," "may," "can," "believes," "expects," "projects," "intends," "likely," "will," "to be" and other expressions that are predictions or indicate future events, trends or prospects. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Iridium to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, uncertainties regarding overall Iridium NEXT development and functionality, potential delays in the Iridium NEXT deployment, the development of and market for Aireon and the Iridium PRIME hosted payloads and the company's ability to maintain the health, capacity and content of its satellite constellation, as well as general industry and economic conditions, and competitive, legal, governmental and technological factors. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements include those factors listed under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Company's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("the SEC") on May 1, 2014, as well as other filings Iridium makes with the SEC from time to time. There is no assurance that Iridium's expectations will be realized. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if Iridium's underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected, estimated or projected. Iridium's forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Iridium undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements.CONTACT: Press Contact: Ashley Eames Iridium Communications Inc. +1 (703) 287-7476 [email protected]
[Via Satellite 03-05-2014] Thales Alenia Space has delivered two complete Iridium high-fidelity satellite simulators and several low-fidelity simulators to SpaceX. The simulators have the same mechanical interface and mass properties of actual satellites, and will be used in a variety of launch tests to ensure structural integrity and functionality, vibration testing for durability, and deployment testing to confirm that the satellites will release from the dispenser correctly when in space.Ten satellite simulators have been constructed and will be used in tests by launch partners Kosmotras, which will launch the first two satellites with its Dnepr rocket, and SpaceX, which will launch the remaining satellites on its Falcon 9 rocket. Iridium is SpaceX’s largest commercial customer, and its $453.1 million investment represents the largest single commercial launch contract in history.
“We continue to break space industry records with Iridium,” stated Jean-Loïc Galle, CEO of Thales Alenia Space. “Typically, we produce one or two simulators per satellite program, but due to the size of the Iridium Next constellation and rigorous testing built into this launch plan, it requires 10 simulators to ensure full testing with the launch platform.”
Desch said the on-ground spares permit Iridium to take on part of the launch risk itself and reduce the amount of coverage it must purchase from insurance underwriters. In addition, he said, the insurance cover is only necessary for the satellites, as SpaceX is proving a reflight free of charge in the event of failure.
Very interesting tidbit on SpaceX policy: "free reflight" in an article on Iridium Next.QuoteDesch said the on-ground spares permit Iridium to take on part of the launch risk itself and reduce the amount of coverage it must purchase from insurance underwriters. In addition, he said, the insurance cover is only necessary for the satellites, as SpaceX is proving a reflight free of charge in the event of failure.Link to full article: http://spacenews.com/iridiums-future-riding-on-7-spacex-launches-and-1-dnepr/