Falcon 9 scheduled to launch from Vandenberg

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The Iridium NEXT satellite is scheduled to launch at1:25 p.m., June 25, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The launch will take place at Space Launch Complex-4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

This will be the first launch for Col. Michael S. Hough, 30th Space Wing commander, who took command on June 9th.

“I’m excited my first launch opportunity is in partnership with SpaceX,” said Hough. “And being a part of putting Iridium NEXT in orbit to meet the growing demand for global mobile communication is icing on the cake. As a side, this will also be our first launch with the Autonomous Flight Safety System, which is expected to help decrease launch costs and improve turnaround times between launches.”

The Autonomous Flight Safety System debuted on its maiden flight from Kennedy Space Center on a Falcon 9 rocket earlier this year, leveraging software developed at the 30th Space Wing.

This is the second of eight planned Iridium NEXT launches.  Each launch will contribute to replacing the world’s largest commercial satellite network and the only network that covers 100 percent of the earth. Iridium NEXT will enable new capabilities like Aireon’s real-time, global aircraft surveillance and tracking service, and Iridium Certus, the Company’s next-generation communications platform that will bring broadband speeds to even the world’s most remote locations.