Today's successful launch of five Iridium® satellites aboard a Boeing Delta II launch vehicle brings the total number of operational satellites in orbit to 56. The Iridium constellation is now more than 80 percent complete.
The launch was at 10:02 p.m. PST, within a five-second window necessary to place the satellites into coordinated orbits with the other 51 satellites already in orbit. It was the eighth launch by a Boeing [NYSE: BA] Delta II for Motorola, prime contractor and manufacturer of the satellite for the Iridium System. The Iridium System is scheduled to provide global, wireless telecommunications service later this year.
The Iridium System is a global wireless communications network that will combine the worldwide reach of 66 low-Earth-orbit satellites with land-based wireless systems to enable subscribers to communicate using handheld telephones and pagers virtually anywhere in the world.
Iridium® is a registered trademark and service mark of Iridium LLC® 1998.