Iridium satellites set world record

BETHESDA, Md. – Marine communications supplier Iridium Satellite said its constellation of low-earth-orbit communication satellites has achieved a world record of more than 500 satellite-years of in-orbit performance, in a release yesterday.

Iridium’s constellation consists of 66 active satellites and 13 in-orbit spares, which Iridium can quickly activate in the event of any satellite outages.

Iridium’s initial satellites launched in 1997-1998, and commenced worldwide service in 1998. Iridium placed seven additional spares into orbit in 2002.

“This is a significant milestone, which no other satellite system has achieved,” Dannie Stamp, chief of operations, Iridium Satellite, said.

The Boeing Company operates the satellite network under a long-term contract with Iridium Satellite.

“The robust design and reliable performance of the satellites are largely responsible for the rapid growth experienced by Iridium during the past two years,” said Carmen Lloyd, chairman and CEO of Iridium Satellite LLC.

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