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Iridium to share Falcon 9 launch with NASA-German gravity satellites

07 February 2017

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Iridium has secured a launch for five more of its next-generation communications craft in a rideshare arrangement with two U.S.-German research satellites aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket by early 2018.

The announcement 31 January 2017 came two-and-a-half weeks after the first 10 Iridium Next satellites lifted off on a Falcon 9 booster from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Another 10 spacecraft are scheduled for launch on a Falcon 9 flight in April.

Iridium will share the Falcon 9's lift and volume capacities on the newly-announced mission — also due to launch from Vandenberg — with two gravity research probes jointly developed by NASA and the German Research Center for Geosciences, or GFZ, of Potsdam, Germany.

Source: Space Flight Now

Image credit: SpaceX - The first 10 Iridium Next satellites launched 14 January 2017 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

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