LOS ANGELES (AP) — Iridium Communications says its 10 new satellites launched from California during the weekend are functioning normally.
The McLean, Virginia-based company said Monday the satellites will undergo about 45 days of testing to ensure they can be integrated into its operational constellation that provides mobile voice and data communications around the globe.
Sunday's launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base carried the second batch of 10 satellites that are being used to replace Iridium's entire original fleet of satellites.
Iridium plans six more launches aboard SpaceX rockets to place a total of 75 new satellites into orbit, including nine spares.
The satellites also carry payloads for an Aireon LLC service that will allow real-time tracking of aircraft everywhere on the globe. Aireon says its testing is also underway.