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Satnews Daily
October 16th, 2013

Iridium—Valid + On Schedule (Satellite)

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[SatNews] Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) has successfully completed a Critical Design Review (CDR) of the complete Iridium NEXT satellite network system, demonstrating its design is valid and on schedule for first launch in early 2015.

The review represents an important transition from the network design to the fabrication and testing phase of Iridium's next-generation constellation.

Artistic rendition of Iridum's NEXT satellite.
The Iridium NEXT satellite network will offer substantially greater bandwidth, improved data speeds, more flexible bandwidth allocation and global coverage, enabling Iridium and its vast ecosystem of partners to support more powerful new devices and applications with enhanced services to meet the changing business needs of its customers. It will also serve as a platform for the company's newly announced Iridium PRIME(sm) offering, a turnkey solution for hosted payloads which will provide all elements of a successful hosted payload mission at an estimated cost savings of 50 percent or more compared to current stand-alone solutions.

"We're very proud of the successful completion of the CDR phase under the direction of our prime contractor Thales Alenia Space," stated Scott Smith, Iridium's Chief Operating Officer. "The entire Iridium NEXT Mission Team working on this program represents the best and the brightest in the industry, and collectively we strive to consistently meet the highest standards of design, engineering and innovation within the timelines of the Iridium NEXT program. Completing the CDR phase establishes that all components of the satellites will properly function as designed in the dynamic environment of the new constellation, keeping the Iridium NEXT program schedule on track and on budget."