Universe Today – Iridium Communications Inc. signed a deal with Space Explorations Technologies (SpaceX) as its major launch provider of its communications satellites on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. It is the largest commercial space launch contract with any single entity. The contract is worth an estimated $3 billion.
They will also complete the planned 72 satellite fleet in only eight launches of nine satellites each. Sixty-six of these satellites will be fully operational; the remaining six will be on-orbit spares (in case there is a contingency with any of the operating satellites). Iridium will also have nine additional ground spares.