Author Topic: SpaceX F9 : Iridium NEXT Flight 7 : July 25, 2018 : Vandenberg - UPDATES  (Read 5975 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

UPDATE ONLY THREAD for Flight 7 of the Iridium NEXT missions.

Flight 7 is expected to launch July 25, 2018 at 04:39 PDT / 11:39 UTC on a new Falcon 9 from SLC-4 at Vandenberg.

   Flight 7 will send all of its satellites into plane 5.

   NSF Threads for Iridium NEXT Flight 7: Discussion / Update
   NSF Articles for Iridium NEXT Flight 7: 

See the Flight 1 Discussion Thread for more information and links to other Iridium Next threads and articles.

General information for Iridium flights 1-5 & 7-8
   Payload Mass: 8600kg for 10 satellites + 1000kg for dispenser = 9600kg
   Launch orbit: 625km, 86.66 degrees
   Operational orbit: 778km, 86.4 degrees

81 Satellites will be built for Iridium NEXT, with 66 being needed for a fully operational constellation.  All of the satellites will carry ADS-B aviation tracking hosted payloads for Aireon, and 60 of the satellites will carry AIS maritime tracking hosted payloads for exactEarth.

Other SpaceX resources on NASASpaceflight:
   SpaceX News Articles (Recent)  /   SpaceX News Articles from 2006 (Including numerous exclusive Elon interviews)
   SpaceX Dragon Articles  /  SpaceX Missions Section (with Launch Manifest and info on past and future missions)
   L2 SpaceX Section
« Last Edit: 07/10/2018 12:03 PM by Chris Bergin »

Offline Chris Bergin

ridium Release:

Iridium-7 Target Launch Date Announced

MCLEAN, Va. – June 15, 2018 – Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) announced today that the seventh Iridium® NEXT mission has been targeted by SpaceX for launch on July 20, 2018, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The Falcon 9 rocket will launch 10 Iridium NEXT satellites to low Earth orbit (LEO) from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California at approximately 5:12 am PDT (12:12 UTC). An exact instantaneous launch window time will be available closer to the launch date. As the second-to-last launch of the planned Iridium NEXT program, this mission will increase the total number of Iridium NEXT satellites in space to 65.

All 10 satellites for this mission will be deployed to Iridium orbital plane number 5 where they will go into operation immediately following a thorough testing and validation process.  The Iridium network is comprised of six polar orbiting planes, each containing 11 operational crosslinked satellites, for a total of 66 satellites in the active constellation. Once all the satellites from the Iridium-7 mission are operational, plane 5 will be the fourth orbital plane to be comprised entirely of Iridium NEXT satellites.  In total, 81 Iridium NEXT satellites are being built, with 66 in the operational constellation, nine serving as on-orbit spares and six serving as ground spares.

Iridium NEXT is the company's $3 billion, next-generation, mobile, global satellite network scheduled for completion in 2018. Iridium NEXT is replacing the company's first generation global constellation in one of the largest technology upgrades ever completed in space. It represents the evolution of critical communications infrastructure that governments and organizations worldwide rely on to drive business, enable connectivity, empower disaster relief efforts and more.

For more information about Iridium NEXT, please visit

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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All 10 Iridium NEXT satellites for launch #7 are at VAFB now, and mating to dispenser is well along - to be completed this weekend. Everything else needed is there as well and being processed - schedule looking good! #Tminus3weeks #donttellVandenbergfogyet.

Offline Jakusb

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Offline Chris Bergin

Iridium Announces Updated Dates for Iridium-7 Launch and Second-Quarter 2018 Earnings Call 

MCLEAN, Va. – July 10, 2018 – Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) announced today an updated launch date for the seventh Iridium® NEXT launch and as a result, a revised date for its second-quarter 2018 earnings call. The Iridium-7 mission is now targeting July 25, 2018 from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California with an instantaneous launch window of 4:39:26 am PDT (11:39:26 UTC). This updated schedule comes after SpaceX informed Iridium that more time was needed to prepare the rocket for launch.

Offline shuttlefan

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Static fire date?

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete— targeting July 25 launch of Iridium-7 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill