Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced that it has signed a systems integration and test contract with Thales Alenia Space, the prime contractor for Iridium NEXT, the next-generation satellite constellation of Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) of McLean, Va.
Under the new contract, Orbital will integrate the communications payloads and platforms of the low-Earth orbit Iridium NEXT satellites being built by Thales Alenia, and then test the systems at its manufacturing facility in Gilbert, Ariz.
“The selection of Orbital is the result of a competitive process to identify the most efficient approach to meeting the challenging requirements for the production of a large constellation such as Iridium NEXT,” said Reynald Seznec, president and CEO of Thales Alenia Space. “Orbital and Thales Alenia have been working together for several years, establishing a long relationship through multiple successful joint programs.”
Iridium CEO Matt Desch said, “We are delighted that Thales Alenia has selected Orbital as systems integrator, which represents another major step forward in the development and construction of Iridium NEXT. With this contract, Orbital becomes part of the most significant commercial space project in the world. Orbital – like Iridium – is a long-time and trusted U.S. Government partner, which should advance the objective of hosting payloads on our new satellites for projects such as Earth observation, scientific monitoring and space situational awareness.
:: Read the full press release on Orbital website