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Iridium confirms third NEXT launch date

Iridium has announced that the third launch for its new NEXT constellation has been scheduled for September 30, 2017, which will bring the total number of Iridium NEXT satellites deployed to 30 if successful.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The launch will once again use SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, with the September 30 launch date suggested by SpaceX based on rocket and Vandenberg Air Force Base range availability. In case of inclement weather, a backup launch date has been scheduled for October 1.

The first two successful launches in the NEXT series took place in January and June of this year. SpaceX has also scheduled a fourth launch to take place in late November, with the satellite manufacturing schedule close to having completed enough satellites for the next three launches, Iridium says.

SpaceX’s targeted forward launch schedule would see completion of the Iridium NEXT constellation achieved in mid-2018. In total, SpaceX will deliver 75 Iridium NEXT satellites to orbit. All of the launches have and will take place from SpaceX’s West Coast launch facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.{/mprestriction}

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