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astronautix.com Iridium


Program: Iridium. Objective: Communications.

The Iridium system is a planned commercial communications network comprised of a constellation of 66 LEO spacecraft. The system will use L-Band to provide global communications services through portable handsets. A total of 125 spacecraft will be built by Lockheed for more than $700M. Commercial service are planned to begin in 1998. Total cost of the project is estimated at $3.45 billion and subscriber fees are estimated at $3 per minute. The system will employ 15-20 ground stations with a master control complex in Landsdowne, VA, a backup in Italy, and a third engineering centre in Chandler, AZ.
Financial/Operational:
6 planes x 11 satellites + 6 spares. Delta II Vandenberg launch of 5 Iridium mobile satellites #4 to #8
Financial/Operational:
Delta 2 launch 5 Motorola satellites from Vandenberg. Ir launch #7, 39 units in orbit.
Financial/Operational:
Delta 2 launch ninth/final 1997 5 units Iridium (46 units for 1997)
Financial/Operational:
China Long March 2 C band two stage booster launch 2 satellites, 41 unit launch - 3 suspect.
Financial/Operational:
Proton launch 7 units from Baikonur (2nd set Iridiums)
Financial/Operational:
Delta II Vandenberg launch of 5 Iridium mobile satellites- third set
Financial/Operational:
Delta II Vandenberg launch of 5 Iridium mobile satellites- fourth set (22 to 26). Major Events: .


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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .