Iridium shakes hands with Relativity Space to launch six satellites

By Nikita Chaurasia  | Date: 2020-06-25

Iridium shakes hands with Relativity Space to launch six satellites

In the recent turn of events, Relativity Space, has reportedly inked an agreement with Iridium, with an aim to launch six next-generation communication satellites of the company.

As per trustworthy sources, Iridium NEXT satellites, weighing 850kg, will be launched individually on Relativity’s Terran 1 rocket. The new launch service agreement will see six Terran 1 missions, beginning in the year 2023.

If reports are to be believed, Relativity Space is developing a launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force station in Florida for its Terran 1 rocket. The company has a multiyear contract to develop its own rocket launching facilities at Launch Complex 16. However, it is speculated that it may need an additional launch site to accommodate Iridium’s satellite.

Iridium has nine backup satellites in orbit and six additional spares on ground. Iridium would launch these spares on demand to specific orbital planes during their new agreement period of 2023-2030.

On careful assessment of the market, the company found that Falcon 9 is quite big for the individual satellite launch, while the Rocket Lab's Electron rocket is too small. In this context, Chief Operations Officer of Iridium, Suzi McBride was found quoting that, "Relativity is really right in our sweet spot".

Relativity has a lot of work to do to develop and launch Terran 1, however, the company aims to make a test flight late next year, added McBridge.

Tim Ellis, Co-Founder of Relativity Space, reportedly quoted that “This agreement represents yet another blue chip company to sign up with Relativity".

For the uninitiated, Iridium already has 66 satellites in a near-pole orbit. Now, to reach the near-pole orbit, Terran 1 would need to launch towards a pole.  The company has reached a “Right to Entry” agreement which will allow them to develop the additional launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

 

Source –

https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/06/iridium-plans-to-launch-six-satellites-on-relativitys-new-rocket/

https://www.space.com/relativity-space-california-launch-pad-iridium-flights.html

About Author

Nikita Chaurasia     aeresearch.net

Nikita Chaurasia

An accomplished professional in the field of content development, playing with words comes naturally to Nikita Chaurasia. After completing her post-graduate MBA degree in Advertising and PR, Nikita worked across numerous content-driven verticals, undertaking diverse r...

Read More >>

More News By Nikita Chaurasia

WeWork India rectifies glitch that revealed visitors’ personal data

WeWork India rectifies glitch that revealed visitors’ personal data

By Nikita Chaurasia

WeWork Inc., a flexible workspace solutions company, has reportedly corrected a security flaw that gave unrestrained access to the personal details and selfies of several users who visited its coworking spaces. Sandeep Hodkasia, a security consult...

China’s Great Wall Motor suspends USD 1 Bn investment plan in India

China’s Great Wall Motor suspends USD 1 Bn investment plan in India

By Nikita Chaurasia

After failing to get regulatory permits, China's Great Wall Motor has reportedly abandoned its plans to invest USD 1 billion in India and has fired all employees from its Indian facilities. The Chinese automaker had planned to penetrate the India...

Walmart to double down on frictionless optical care with Memomi buyout

Walmart to double down on frictionless optical care with Memomi buyout

By Nikita Chaurasia

Walmart Inc. is reportedly planning to acquire the augmented reality optical tech firm Memomi, reflecting the retailer’s commitment to offering frictionless and omnichannel optical care. The buyout could potentially allow Walmart to offer a fun...

Google faces antitrust lawsuit from Danish job search entity Jobindex

Google faces antitrust lawsuit from Danish job search entity Jobindex

By Nikita Chaurasia

Google LLC was reportedly hit with an antitrust case by Jobindex, a Danish online job-search rival, that took its grievance to European regulators asserting that Alphabet Inc.’s subsidiary is unjustly favoring its job-search engine. The comp...

EU vows USD 630 Mn aid to vulnerable countries amidst Ukraine-conflict

EU vows USD 630 Mn aid to vulnerable countries amidst Ukraine-conflict

By Nikita Chaurasia

The European Union has reportedly pledged USD 630 million to support weaker nations to tackle food scarcity that was made worse by Russia's assault on Ukraine. The funds include USD 368 million in aid to increase long-term sustainable food produc...