On May 22, 2018 Iridium Communications completed their sixth successful launch after safely sending five communication satellites into orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The rocket look off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 12:47 PDT and in addition to the five Iridium Next satellites, carried twin NASA satellites into orbit as well.
NASA's satellites, known as the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On or GRACE-FO Mission, were deployed by the Falcon 9 Rocket in a near polar orbit where they will study the changing distribution of water around the world, tracking changes in sea levels, glaciers, and polar ice caps.
After successfully deploying NASA's satellite mission, the Falcon 9 ascended to a higher orbit to launch the Iridium Next satellites. These five communication satellites will join 50 other Iridium satellites already in orbit as Iridium moves closer to achieving it's planned 75 satellite constellation. These satellites are designed to facilitate the first global broadband service for aviation and maritime industries as well as for first responders and other safety services. This ambitious launch program, which will be achieved after two more launches of 10 satellites each, is set to be one of the largest technological upgrades ever completed in space.
Granbery Studios brought ESI Video on board to assist in capturing B-Roll of the anticipation at the Iridium launch party held at Foley Estate Vineyards and conduct interviews with key members of the Iridium launch such as Iridium Communications CEO Matthew Desch.
"It was super exciting to work at Vandenberg Air Force Base with Jeff Granbery on this project for Iridium. A real thrill since I grew up in the area and my grandfather helped build the base in the early 1960's. A real chance of a lifetime!" - Jimm Vest
Check out the highlight video Iridium Communications created for their 6th launch here!