TYSONS CORNER, VA, July 20, 2016 — Thales Alenia Space and Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA) have completed construction on 81 communications satellites for Iridium Communications‘ (Nasdaq: IRDM) Iridium NEXT mobile communications network, ExecutiveBiz reported Thursday.
Spaceflight Now reported July 13 that the satellites are ready to be delivered to Vandenberg Air Force Base, where they will be fueled and integrated into SpaceX‘s Falcon 9 rockets before the launch on Sept. 11.
Iridium CEO Matt Desch, who is an inductee into Executive Mosaic‘s Wash100 for 2016, said the 81-satellite purchase represents approximately $2.2 billion of the program cost, while the seven Falcon 9 rockets in the launch contract cost $492 million in 2010, according to the report.
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