Feb 02, 2017 03:20 AM EST
It was just announced recently that with NASA's satellites, five of the Iridium NEXT satellites will have a ride together as they travel to space. It will be the return flight of the Space X's Falcon 9 after the reported anomaly during the 2016 launching of the first group of Iridium satellites into the low earth orbit.
Iridium and NASA will share the eighth and final launch of Iridium NEXT is for them to save much of its cost according to Mash Desch, CEO of Iridium. According to The Techportal, it is also the first ever shared ride mission to take place. Desch also added that the idea is such a great way to have an additional NEXT satellite in the orbit.
As reported in the Tech2, the launch is a part of the company's plan in creating a constellation of the satellites for telecommunications. Space X is already in an agreement to launch 70 of Iridium's NEXT satellites over seven launches. The first 10 of the satellites was launched in January that marked Space X's returning flight following its pad explosion in September.
The company's original plan was to launch 66 of its telecommunication satellites with 15 spares placing six in the orbit and nine of it in the ground. However, the recent announcement has increased the count of the orbit spare satellites by three which also means that there will be an increased total of NEXT satellites in orbit at the time that Space X has launched them all.
As for the satellite that will join the Iridium's NEXT satellite space travel is the Geosciences Gravity Recovery and the Climate Experiment Follow-On mission. It is a collaboration of NASA/GFZ German Research Centre that seeks to expand and replace the GRACE mission that was launched back in 2002 and still operating up to this day. Meanwhile, the next thing for Space X is the cargo supply mission that is on its tenth. The mission will be on the International Space Station with a schedule that is still subject to further confirmation.
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