VANDENBERG AFB, Calif. - The Iridium NEXT satellite is scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Sunday, June 25.
The launch is set for 1:25 p.m.
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 earth," said Vandenberg in a statement.
The statement continues, "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."
This will be the first launch for Col. Michael S. Hough who took over as commander of the 30th Space Wing on June 9th.
"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," said Hough.
Jalama Beach County Park, about 30 miles south of Vandenberg Air Force Base, will be "evacuated" on June 25th from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. due to the Falcon 9 launch. Campers will be evacuated to the end of Jalama Road onto Highway 1, according to Santa Barbara County Parks.
"A space launch is planned to occur from Vandenberg AFB during that time. The flight path for this mission will take the vehicle near Jalama, so out of an abundance of caution, we worked closely with the county to close the park during the launch window. Together we try to issue advance notice of pending closures so persons planning to visit the park during that time can modify their schedule," said Lt. William Collette with Vandenberg Air Force Base.