Iridium NEXT is ride-sharing a launch in February, 2018!

31 Jan Iridium NEXT is ride-sharing a launch in February, 2018!

Get Your Head out of the Clouds…and into low earth orbit!

We just received news that Iridium Communications will be launching five more satellites in mid-February, 2018 for its 8th launch! Iridium announced this afternoon that they have “struck a deal” to share a Falcon9 ride on a SpaceX launch with two other major companies: NASA and GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. The official time has not yet been released, and we will update this post once we get it. It is also not yet clear whether this launch will be televised or streamed, but we will update our links here if news becomes available.

“This is a very smart way to get additional Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit,” said Matt Desch, chief executive officer at Iridium. “This launch provides added resiliency to our network for not much more than we had planned originally to launch 72 satellites, including two with Kosmotras.”  Desch continued, “We are pleased to be sharing a rocket with NASA and GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences for this additional SpaceX launch, and GFZ has been a great business partner throughout this process.”  – taken from the official statement


I’m sure we don’t have to tell you that we were pretty excited to get this email! Speaking from the ground level, we have big dreams for this updated Iridium constellation; we’re huge supporters of Iridium’s philosophy of being connected everywhere. Now with the IridiumNEXT program, you can expect to be connected everywhere, better.

What does better mean? Iridium Communications is taking their dedication to a connected earth to heart. Not only is the new system using advanced technology like our DAT platform, but it also established the Hosted Payload Alliance (HPA) to support optimized payloads for programs using the high-bandwidth satellites!

Benefits of Hosted Payloads

  • Shorter time to space. 
  • Lower cost. 
  • A more resilient architecture.
  • Increased access to space.
  • Operational options.


Keeping up with IridiumNEXT

We know there are still a lot of questions out there about Iridium, Iridium NEXT and what it means for current users. As a Certus design partner, we can mitigate some of these concerns for you. You can contact us directly for in-depth questions or custom solutions for Iridium antennas and smart Iridium antennas. You can check out our Iridium Antenna products below. You can also check out our old whitepaper on our relationship with Iridium.