Iridium Appoints Relativity Space as Satellite Launch Partner | Financial Buzz

Iridium Appoints Relativity Space as Satellite Launch Partner

Relativity Space reported that Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) signed a launch contract to delivery satellites to orbit.  This contract includes six launches to deploy Iridium ground spare satellites to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).  The Launches will take place when required by Iridium as it utilizes Relativity’s Terran 1 or world’s first 3D printed launch vehicle.  Launches are planned as early as 2023.  The second gen Iridium constellation was completed in January 2019 and has 66 operational satellites that have 9 in orbit spares.  Six additional satellites were manufactured as ground spares and remain in storage.  If needed, the company will launch a ground spare and Terran 1 will respond promptly to deploy a satellite to one of its six orbital planes.  “The upgraded Iridium satellite constellation is operating incredibly well, but it’s prudent to have a cost-effective launch option available for future spare delivery,” said Matt Desch CEO of Iridium.  “Relativity’s Terran 1 fits our launch needs to LEO well from both a price, responsiveness and capability perspective. And we know based on our previous experience that there are great benefits to engaging with a provider early on during development of the launch vehicle and it evolving around our particular needs.”

“Iridium offers critical communications over the planet’s entire surface, and we are very proud to be their launch partner that supports this capability,” said Tim Ellis, CEO and co-founder, Relativity Space. “As the first 3D printed launch vehicle, Terran 1 offers uniquely disruptive flexibility, cost, and performance advantages, especially for medium-payload missions that need dedicated launches.”