SpaceX has launched a constellation of ten new Iridium NEXT satellites into space from Vandenberg Air Force Base in the US.

The constellation represents the eighth and final units of Iridium NEXT satellite in a series of 75 next-generation communications satellites owned and operated by Iridium.

Around one hour and 12 minutes after the launch, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket deployed all the satellites into a low-Earth orbit (LEO).

After the deployment, the first stage of the rocket landed back on the ‘Just Read the Instructions’ drone-ship positioned in the Pacific Ocean.

“Our gratitude to SpaceX for helping bring this new generation of satellites to orbit, so flawlessly every time is beyond words.”

Last September, SpaceX used the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket to launch the Iridium-8 mission.

Iridium CEO Matt Desch said: “Our gratitude to SpaceX for helping bring this new generation of satellites to orbit, so flawlessly every time is beyond words.

“However, for Iridium, we’re not quite across the finish line yet, as there is still some work to do to put these satellites into operation.

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“Once that’s complete, our future will be in place.”

The Iridium NEXT satellites are designed to create a communications network that provides pole-to-pole communication coverage of the Earth.

The network includes six polar orbiting planes, each of which features 11 crosslinked satellites totalling 66 in the operational constellation.

The newly launched satellites are part of the orbital plane three.

Thales Alenia Space designed the Iridium NEXT satellites as system prime contractor, while Thales’ subcontractor Northrop Grumman integrated the probes.