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Fourth set of Iridium NEXT satellites arrive in orbit and provide telemetry





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Iridium Communications reports that the fourth set of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites, launched last Friday by SpaceX, are functioning nominally and have begun the testing and validation process. Not only did this fourth launch mark the midway point of the Iridium NEXT launch campaign, it is also the first Iridium NEXT launch to use a flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket.

"Since Friday's deployment, the team has only positive news to report," said Scott Smith, chief operating officer at Iridium. "Similar to the first three launches, our team at the Satellite Network Operations Center immediately began running initial diagnostics as soon as the newly deployed satellites were captured by our network, just minutes after they were deployed.

The Iridium constellation is comprised of six polar orbiting planes, each containing 11 operational crosslinked satellites, for a total of 66 satellites in the active constellation.

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