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Matt Desch: Rideshare Could Make Launch Opportunity for Iridium NEXT Ground Spare Satellites

Matt Desch

TYSONS CORNER, VA, January 10, 2018 — Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium Communications (Nasdaq: IRDM), has indicated the possibility that the company will launch the six ground spare satellites in the Iridium NEXT constellation if there is an opportunity for a rideshare mission, ExecutiveBiz reported Friday.

Space News reported Jan. 3 that Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems and Thales Alenia Space are set to finish by February the six extra satellites originally intended for standby on the ground, completing the NEXT constellation of 81 satellites with 66 operational units and nine orbiting spares.

Desch, a four-time Wash100 awardee, said there is no active or urgent need to send the ground spares to space but noted the company’s interest in a “smart rideshare” that could deliver a cost-effective opportunity to get the units into orbit.

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