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Iridium 106



One of ten new-generation voice and data relay spacecraft for Iridium. Each Iridium-NEXT spacecraft is equipped with L- and K-band transponders, communicating with handsets via the L-band, while providing crosslink to other satellites and downlink to ground stations via Ka-band. Iridium’s crosslink capability allows each satellite to relay communications through the spacecraft in front and behind in the same plane, and to its counterparts in adjacent planes.

As a member of the Hosted Payload Alliance, Iridium has provided for each satellite to carry an additional payload of up to 54 kilograms (120 lb), which can draw 90 to 200 watts of power from the parent spacecraft and integrate directly with the Iridium constellation for communications.

The upgraded network will offer faster broadband connections, improved functionality and 3G-equivalent cellular phone services for Iridium’s pool of nearly 850,000 subscribers, a client list that includes the U.S. military, oil and gas companies, aviation and maritime operators, and mining and construction contractors.

All of the upgraded satellites also carry piggyback payloads for Aireon, an affiliate of Iridium, to help air traffic controllers track airplane movements worldwide.

Alternate Names

  • 41917
  • Iridium NEXT
  • Iridium106

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2017-01-14
Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9 Full Thrust
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States

Funding Agency

  • Iridium (United States)


  • Communications

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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