Thales Alenia Space Launches the Iridium NEXT Era in Satellite Communication

15 Mart 2019
THALES_iridium_next - C - Thales Alenia Space

With the latest launch performed in the United States on January 11, Thales Alenia Space has placed into orbit the last batch of the Iridium NEXT communication satellites constructed for Iridium Communications. These satellites replaced the older-generation Iridium satellites that permitted direct satellite communication.

Each weighing 850 kg, the satellites were positioned in the low earth orbit at 780 km altitude. The eight launches performed between January 2017 and January 2019 as part of the programme have placed a total of 75 satellites into space, 66 of which will be used actively, while 9 will be kept in reserve, in a higher orbit.

During the launches that continued for a two-year period, each one of the 66 older-generation Iridium satellites previously in orbit were sequentially replaced by the Iridium NEXT satellites, with no issues in communication or interruption of services occurring on the user’s side in the process.

Users of Iridium’s network are always within the line of sight of at least one satellite in space, regardless of their location on earth, which ensures uninterrupted communication.

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