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As Iridium continues preparations for its first Iridium NEXT satellite launch this summer, the company recently completed manufacturing and testing its first satellites, and is gearing up to increase its production speed. Meanwhile, the finished satellites are being prepped for storage before shipping to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California…
“Our engineers have been working tirelessly with Thales and Orbital to build the Iridium NEXT satellites and ensure that they will work as designed for many years in space,” said Scott Smith, chief operating officer at Iridium. “Our process must not only deliver high quality satellites for launch, but must assemble them efficiently and stay on track to meet our launch schedules. Our involvement in the design and development process, and the thorough test program they’ve endured, gives us confidence in the capabilities of these satellites. Now, with the first satellites completed and tested, we are one step closer to realizing our ultimate goal of delivering a truly next-generation, global network.”
Chief Executive Officer Matt Desch added, “This milestone has been a long time coming, but signals that we’re nearing first launch. It’s been exciting to see our powerful new satellites take shape from a concept seven years ago into a working, fully tested vehicle, ready to be shipped to Vandenberg for launch. With the assembly pace picking up, we’re all excited about the potential of these new satellites and look forward to getting them all in operation by the end of 2017.”