The Bold Future of Satellite Communications

Iridium NEXT Taking Flight

Follow the 8 Launch Missions

Iridium has replaced its existing constellation by sending 75 Iridium NEXT satellites into space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket over 8 different launches.

Update – January 11th, 2019

On January 11th, 2019 at 07:31 am PST (15:31 UTC) a flight-proven SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base and delivered the final 10 Iridium® NEXT satellites to low earth orbit (LEO).

Witness Space History in the Making

From Man's first step on the Moon to the International Space Station, space expeditions have always captivated our imaginations. And while the technology has evolved over the years, what remains alive today is humanity's bold desire to push the boundaries of where we can go and what we can do.

Iridium NEXT is an example of this drive to redefine what is possible. The launch of Iridium's second generation global satellite constellation is one of the most significant commercial space ventures ever.


World satellite systems leader Thales Alenia Space serves as prime contractor for Iridium NEXT, and is tasked with the design and construction of the satellites for the new constellation.

Leading space technology company Northrop Grumman is responsible for the production of the Iridium NEXT satellites, including the assembly, integration, test and launch support phases.

American aerospace manufacturer and space transporter SpaceX is the launch provider for Iridium NEXT, using the Falcon 9 to deploy the new satellites into low-Earth orbit.

Beyond the core partners, the Iridium NEXT program brings together the best and brightest minds in aerospace and telecommunications for a truly global collaborative effort.

  1. Aireon equipment on board the satellite
  2. Solar panel wing
  3. Inter-satellite antennas, Ka-band
  4. Base Load Aerial - L-Range
  5. Feeder antenna, Ka-band

Characteristics of the Iridium NEXT satellite:

  • Wingspan: 9.4 m
  • Weight: 860 kg
  • Dimensions folded: 3.1 m x 2.4 m x 1.5 m
Launch Plan