SPACE X Falcon 9 Rocket to Release 10 Satellites for Iridium

Iridium Mission launch by Space X in few hours. (Space X)

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will release 10 satellites in low-Earth orbit for Iridium, a global leader in mobile voice and data satellite communications, with a mandate to release 60 more Iridium’s next generation global satellite.

The Iridium NEXT mission will be launched by Space X Falcom 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The instantaneous launch window opens on January 14 at 9:54:39 am PST or 5:54:39 pm UTC. The satellites will be lofted off in their respective orbit about an hour after launch.

A backup launch opportunity on January 15 opens at 9:49:04 am PST or 5:49:04 pm UTC, said Space X. Following stage separation, the first stage of Falcon 9 will attempt a landing on the droneship that will be stationed in the Pacific Ocean.

The first 10 Iridium NEXT satellites, which form part of the 70 Iridium NEXT satellites will replace the world’s largest commercial satellite network of low-earth orbit satellites in the largest “tech upgrades” being undertaken in history.

Iridium has partnered with Thales Alenia Space for the manufacturing and testing of 81 Iridium NEXT satellites, at least 70 of which will be launched by SpaceX future missions. In addition, Iridium Certus, the next-generation multi-service communications platform will deliver faster speeds and higher throughputs across multiple industry verticals, said Space X.

Once the 70 satellites are launched, it is likely to disrupt the existing quality in the industry, and is poised to change the current market status quo, said the statement. Currently, the service is set to be commercially available in 2017. All the 70 Iridium NEXT satellites are scheduled to be deployed by early 2018.

Iridium, with its global mobile voice and data satellite communications network, is set to take lead on Internet and Business communications sphere.

Mission Timeline:
Hour/Min/Sec Events
– 01:18:00 Launch Conductor takes launch readiness poll
– 00:70:00 RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) loading underway
– 00:45:00 LOX (liquid oxygen) loading underway
– 00:07:00 Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch
– 00:02:00 Range Control Officer (USAF) verifies range is go for launch
– 00:01:30 SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for launch
– 00:01:00 Command flight computer to begin final prelaunch checks
– 00:01:00 Pressurize propellant tanks
– 00:00:03 Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start
00:00:00 Falcon 9 liftoff


Hour/Min/Sec Events
00:01:09 Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket)
00:02:24 1st stage engine shutdown/main engine cutoff (MECO)
00:02:27 1st and 2nd stages separate
00:02:35 2nd stage engine starts
00:03:15 Fairing deployment
00:07:49 1st stage landing
00:09:09 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)
00:52:31 2nd stage engine restarts
00:52:34 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-2)
00:59:16 Iridium NEXT satellites begin deployment
01:14:16 Iridium NEXT satellites end deployment

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