Orbital Sciences has begun construction of the 81satellites that will make up Iridium’s second generation communications satellite constellation.


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The competition heats up: Orbital Sciences has begun construction of the 81satellites that will make up Iridium’s second generation communications satellite constellation.

Not only is this big business for satellite construction — 81 satellites is a big order — someone will have to launch those satellites. Even if they are launched in groups of five, which was how it was done for the first generation, it will still take more than 16 launches to get them all in orbit. That will be a lot of business for some lucky rocket company.

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