WASHINGTON, February 29. /Corr. Ivan Lebedev/. International mobile telephony operator, Iridium Communications abandoned its intention to launch two new satellites by Russian rocket “Dnepr”, as the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation yet was not allowed to use the starting base “Clear” in the Orenburg region. As reported by the specialized weekly Space News, the head of Iridium Communications, Matthew dash, has notified investors of the project, which envisages the creation of a low earth orbit constellation of 72 vehicles of the next generation Iridium NEXT.
“Dash said that the Russian defense Ministry, which manages the spaceport, “Clear”, to grant the necessary licence is registered in Moscow the cosmotrans company operating the rocket “Dnepr”, – said the publication. According to him, Iridium Communications, based near Washington DC in Virginia, planned to use the media to launch the first two satellites of its new group in April of this year. They assigned a test role: experts should observe their work in orbit and only then proceed to send other devices.
“Dash announced that Iridium Communications were waiting for the issuance of permits in Russia for a few months and he repeatedly said that the issue will soon be solved, writes the weekly. – However, licenses are still not issued, and Iridium Communications can wait no longer, since the risk of not to fulfill the plan of creating a full orbital constellation of 72 satellites by the end of 2017”.
In this regard, the company has decided to abandon the launch of two test satellites using the Dnepr carrier and put it in orbit on July 10 of the main apparatus, using the Falcon 9 rocket the California-based company Space-X. Next start with the same number of satellites it will carry out in October, and the remaining five launches will take place every two months until the autumn of next year.
At the same time, the leadership of Iridium Communications is not going to refuse from cooperation with “Kosmotras”. According to dash, the contract for the use of the “Dnepr” can be provided “in the middle or at the end of the process of creating a satellite constellation”.
The, cosmotrans was established by the leading rocket and space enterprises of Russia and Ukraine for purposes of commercial exploitation of media conversion “Dnepr”, created on the basis of an Intercontinental ballistic missile silo-based RS-20 “Governor” (NATO designation SS-18 Satan) taken out of service under start-1. Since 1999 under this program were made on 22 start, which resulted in the orbit output devices on the order of space agencies and companies from many countries.