Monday December 8, 4:23 am Eastern Time|
Company Press Release
SOURCE: Iridium LLC
Another Successful Launch for Iridium LLC; Two More Satellites Now in Orbit
WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Two more IRIDIUM satellites were successfully launched today on a Chinese Long March 2C/SD rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in China. Today's launch brings the total number of orbiting IRIDIUM satellites to 41, marking Iridium LLC's eighth launch in eight months.
With this launch, IRIDIUM satellites have now been launched by all three of Iridium system launch service providers: Delta II of Boeing, Proton of Khrunichev, and Long March 2C/SD of China Great Wall Industry Corporation.
The two satellites are part of Iridium LLC's 66-satellite wireless personal telecommunications network designed to offer full global coverage and a variety of communications services, including voice, data, fax and paging. These two satellites join the 39 that were previously launched.
''Today's launch is the result of a close working relationship between China Great Wall, Motorola (NYSE: MOT - news) and Iridium LLC,'' said Edward F. Staiano, Iridium LLC Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. ''We thank our Chinese partner and investor for its contribution to Iridium in reaching our commercial goal of providing global wireless communications services in September 1998.''
''With this launch in China, we've set a new record by deploying 41 satellites in eight months from three countries,'' said Motorola Chief Executive Officer Christopher Galvin. ''We congratulate China Great Wall for their successful launch, which has played an important role in making this achievement possible.''
The Long March 2C/SD rocket lifted off the launch pad at 02:16:49 a.m. EST. Satellite separation occurred approximately fifty minutes after liftoff. The two satellites will be maneuvered into their respective positions to become part of the operational constellation.
Iridium LLC is developing and commercializing a global wireless communications network that will combine the worldwide reach of 66 low-earth-orbit satellites with land-based wireless systems to enable subscribers to communicate using handheld telephones and pagers virtually anywhere in the world with service introduction planned for 1998.
Iridium World Communications, Ltd. (Nasdaq: IRIDF - news), the public investment vehicle of Iridium LLC, completed an initial public offering in early June. Proceeds from the offering were used by Iridium World Communications, Ltd. to purchase membership interests in Iridium LLC totaling approximately 8.5 per cent of the Company.