Iridium’s Historic Falcon 9 Launch Gets Quite a Reaction

July 18, 2017 | Author: Patty Attwell

The June 24 launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base carried 10 next-generation Iridium satellites and made history for being the shortest turnaround time between two SpaceX flights from two different launch sites ever achieved.

Iridium Falcon 9

As space enthusiasts marveled at the second successful launch within a two-day period for this Falcon 9 rocket, the Honeywell team also had great reasons to celebrate leading-edge space technology: the 10 Iridium communication satellites that were launched contained 40 Honeywell reaction wheel assemblies.

Honeywell has advanced the state of the art for reaction wheel assemblies in a variety of sizes, providing attitude control for spacecraft without needing to use rocket fuel or other reaction devices. Reaction wheels allow the spacecraft to control and stabilize its attitude/position with a high degree of precision and reliability while maintaining precious rocket fuel for larger corrections and potential de-orbit when the time comes.

Iridium Falcon 9

So why does Iridium get a positive “reaction” from our wheels? Because Honeywell-powered satellites are more effective and efficient in orbit. Honeywell reaction wheels have accumulated more than 136 million hours – or more than 15,500 years – in space, with 100 percent mission success rate. Our reaction wheels provide stability and attitude control for small to very large satellites.

The 10 new Iridium NEXT satellites will join orbit with 10 launched in January and other Iridium spacecraft, helping maintain crosslinks forming a complete web of coverage around the entire planet. That ensures faster, seamless data and voice communication for those using the Iridium network.

Iridium’s clients include U.S. military, oil and gas companies, aviation and maritime operators and mining and construction contractors – all organizations where reliable communication under challenging circumstances can be the difference between life and death.

Iridium Falcon 9

Honeywell is proud to be a part of the Iridium NEXT mission and the efforts to create a more connected world. See more on this mission here

Patty Attwell

Patty Attwell

Patty Attwell joined Honeywell during the 2016 acquisition of Canadian satellite payload and space systems experts, COM DEV International, where she was Manager of Global Corporate Communications. She is now the marketing communications manager for Honeywell’s Space Enterprise, bringing together the amazing history of 60 years of leadership in space mission solutions; with our latest cutting-edge technology that will propel the emerging space markets of tomorrow.

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