Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT - Jan 14, 2017 (17:54 UTC)- UPDATES  (Read 187505 times)

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Thanks @elonmusk - a perfect flight!  Loved watching sats deploy with you in the control room.  More to go, but now to celebrate!!

Offline watermod

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Congrats to all.
Now awaiting to see how the Market treats Iridium on Tuesday.

Offline pmenstrom

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Congratulations SpaceX and everyone involved in the launch and landing!

Looking forward to this becoming routine.

Offline Mark McCombs

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Congrats to SpaceX, Iridium, 30th SW and all others for the wonderful launch and deployment.

"Are you sure you want to go to Red Alert, Sir? It does mean changing the bulb." - Kryten
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory". LLAP - Leonard Nimoy

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Matt Desch ‏@IridiumBoss  7m7 minutes ago
Beautiful picture of our ride to space tomorrow on the launch pad this morning!  #IridiumNEXT #SpaceX
Beautiful sunrise landscape/seascape/"skyscape" picture including setting full moon!
(Oh yes, beautiful rocket in the foreground!  ;) )

EDIT: I couldn't watch the launch/satellite deploys live today, so thank you to the NSF contributors for this excellent update thread!  And, congratulations to SpaceX, Iridium, Thales Alenia, Orbital ATK, and Vandenberg AFB + Western Test Range on a magnificent RTF launch campaign and 1st stage recovery!
« Last Edit: 01/14/2017 08:44 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline Greg Pecchia

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Congrats SpaceX, you made my day and many others!

Offline Barrie

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I second all the thanks and congratulations, and thanks to Matt Desch for his outreach in recent weeks, inviting us to share his excitement and joy.

Online Halidon

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Congrats to all the SpaceX team on RTF, and congrats to Iridium on getting their new constellation started. Very pretty flight to watch

Offline CorvusCorax

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Congrats, SpaceX, Iridium, Range, and of course NSF on some excellent coverage
(Thanks ZachS09 , that was great! )

This RTF was awesome! Shining and flawless.

But then, there can't be any stand-downs in 2017. Every single mission will have to be just as flawless as this one. And with more missions than anyone has ever flown in one year.

The pressure is on, for SpaceX!
Iridium1 can be crossed off, now on with Echostar, from SC39a no less!
Exciting times, will keep me off my seat this year :) I'm cheering for you!

Offline input~2

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3 objects have been cataloged by USSTRATCOM

2017-003A/41917 in 618 x 627 km x 86.66
2017-003B/41918 in 601 x 618 km x 86.67
2017-003C/41919 in 606 x 616 km x 86.65

edit: 3 more:

2017-003D/41920 in 605 x 622 km x 86.68
2017-003E/41921 in 605 x 620 km x 86.68
2017-003F/41922 in 608 x 620 km x 86.67

edit: and the last 5

2017-003G/41923 in 611 x 617 km x 86.66
2017-003H/41924 in 607 x 622 km x 86.67
2017-003J/41925 in 605 x 622 km x 86.67
2017-003K/41926 in 609 x 623 km x 86.68
2017-003M/41927 in 608 x 623 km x 86.68
« Last Edit: 01/15/2017 07:15 am by input~2 »

Online abaddon

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Congratulations to SpaceX for a flawless RTF, and Iridium for finally getting their birds on orbit.

Lots of milestones ahead for both, but always good to start things with a (controlled) bang.

Was fun watching the first stage land in real time, and also nice to see JRTI catch its first Falcon.  Will be interesting to see what recovery and processing look like on the west coast after watching so many landing on the east coast.

Offline WindyCity

The landing was as exciting as the first time they nailed it. What incredible video! As for the satellites, I was relieved when the S2 got ridium. Congrats, SpaceX! You people rock.

Offline Darkseraph

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I was relieved everything went so smoothly! Congratulations to all the team at SpaceX!
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Iridium Announces Successful First Launch of Iridium NEXT Satellites
Iridium NEXT Constellation Refresh Begins First Ten Satellites Delivered to Low- Earth Orbit

MCLEAN, Va., Jan. 14, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM) announced today the successful launch of its first ten Iridium NEXT satellites. The satellites were delivered into low-Earth orbit approximately one hour after the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 9:54:39 a.m. PST. Iridium NEXT is the company's next-generation satellite constellation, replacing and enhancing its existing network of low-Earth orbit satellites spanning the entire globe the largest commercial satellite constellation in space.

This is the start of a series of Iridium NEXT launches scheduled over the next 18 months, and marks the beginning of one of the biggest "tech refreshes" in history, completely replacing the only satellite constellation providing 100-percent truly global communications coverage.  Once fully deployed, Iridium NEXT will enable a new broadband multi-service capability called Iridium CertusSM, while providing the technical flexibility to support innovative new services and technologies from Iridium's extensive partner network. Among those technologies is a unique hosted payload from Iridium's partner Aireon, which will provide a real-time global aircraft surveillance service, extending aircraft visibility across the planet.

The first ten Iridium NEXT satellites were delivered to a 625 kilometer (km) temporary parking orbit where they will be tested and exercised by Iridium over the coming weeks. Upon meeting testing and validation requirements, the satellites will then be moved into their 780km operational orbit and begin providing service to Iridium's customers.  One-by-one, the new satellites will be positioned near a current generation satellite, each moving at approximately 17,000 miles per hour as testing begins. Iridium's unique inter-satellite communication links from nearby satellites will be repositioned to point to the new Iridium NEXT satellite as it prepares to take over service.  Existing satellites will eventually be de-boosted and de-orbited.

"Today Iridium launches a new era in the history of our company and a new era in space as we start to deliver the next-generation of satellite communications," said Matt Desch, chief executive officer of Iridium. "We have been working endless hours for the last eight years to get to this day, and to finally be here with ten Iridium NEXT satellites successfully launched into low-Earth orbit is a fulfilling moment.  We are incredibly thankful for all of the hard work from our team, as well as our partners, to help us achieve this milestone."

Both Thales Alenia Space, System Prime Contractor for the program, and their subcontractor for production, Orbital ATK, have been integral in the development of the Iridium NEXT program, from the design and manufacturing of the Iridium NEXT satellite vehicles to managing an 18-station, state-of-the-art assembly line production system.

"Leading a worldwide team to manufacture, assemble, test and prepare each satellite for this moment has been incredibly exciting," said Bertrand Maureau, executive vice president of telecommunications at Thales Alenia Space.  "We are very proud to have conducted such a unique program, in terms of scale and complexity as well as to have successfully completed the end-to-end whole constellation on-ground validation. The system is fully tested, and the compatibility of Iridium NEXT with the Block-1 operating satellites has been perfectly demonstrated. It has truly been an honor, and we are looking forward to completing the rest of the Iridium NEXT constellation through 2017 and early 2018."

"We are proud to be a part of this revolutionary satellite program," said Frank Culbertson, president of Orbital ATK's Space Systems Group.  "Seeing these first ten satellites launch successfully into space is the result of a unique assembly-line process at our satellite manufacturing facility that represents a remarkable achievement. We look forward to seeing the innovative solutions these satellites, which are great examples of leading-edge technology and manufacturability, will enable."

In addition to partnering with Thales Alenia Space as System Prime Contractor, Iridium has partnered with SpaceX for the launch of 70 Iridium NEXT satellites on its Falcon 9 rocket.

"We are very proud to be chosen as the launch provider for the entire Iridium NEXT program and are excited about today's successful first launch," said Gwynne Shotwell, President of SpaceX. "Iridium was one of SpaceX's first customers, and working alongside them to deliver one of the largest aerospace projects underway is an exciting moment for us at SpaceX."

Iridium and SpaceX are partnered for a series of seven launches, deploying ten Iridium NEXT satellites at a time. The next major milestone will be the completion of on-orbit testing of these satellites, to validate performance requirements are met. The second Iridium NEXT launch will be scheduled after this testing is completed, in April. The entire Iridium NEXT network is scheduled to be completed by mid-2018. For more information about Iridium NEXT, please visit

Offline rickl

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Congratulations to SpaceX and Iridium.

The webcasts continue to improve.  I remember that they used to end them with SECO-1, but now they continue to spacecraft deployment.  And the live rocketcam video from Stage 1 was spellbinding!
The Space Age is just starting to get interesting.

Online Chris Bergin

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[email protected]musk , @IridiumBoss (Matt Desch) & Jean-Loc Galle (@Thales_Alenia_S) on the launch pad! #IridiumNEXT #launch # first # batch

Offline Davp99

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So who was worried ? Not this Guy  <----- Congrats to All Involved, Cheers it was Brilliant !!
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Offline cro-magnon gramps

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Well, it was at times nail biting, but in the end SpaceX ticked off the counters like the pro they are... Thanks to SpaceX, The 30th Wing, Iridium and their Partners, and to Chris, Mark, Steven and Zach, and all the L2 members, without whom this space would not be available for us space nerds.... you are all Super Stars!!!
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Offline ChrisC

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Webcasts now available to re-watch:

They've been available to rewatch since the moment the live webcast ended -- Youtube automatically converts the archived live event to a regular video, immediately.  I checked it seconds after the live webcast ended and it was there.

What we're still waiting on is SpaceX's "trim" of the video.  Sometime today they will edit the leading 10 minutes off that video, and maybe some of the intermediate ~40 minutes of coast.  Then we'll need to update our various social media posts telling our friends to "jump to MM:SS" to see various milestones ...
How to embed photos from outside sources (e.g. Twitter)
NASA TV in HD:  history and FAQ (from 2007-2010 startup period)

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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SpaceX launch photos