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Iridium Communications Hails SpaceX launch and the Dawn of Historical 'Tech Refresh'

Iridium Communications Hails SpaceX launch and the Dawn of Historical 'Tech Refresh'
As Iridium Communications hailed SpaceX's first lift-off since an explosion last fall, the former said that SpaceX's successful launch of 10 satellites for Iridium Communications marks the beginning of one of the biggest "tech refreshes" in history.
Delivering the satellites into low-Earth orbit about an hour later, the SpaceX Falcon blasted off from California earlier in the day.
"Today Iridium launches a new era in the history of our company and a new era in space as we start to deliver the next-generation of satellite communications," Iridium CEO Matt Desch said in a statement.
Iridium plans several more launches over the next 18 months and called it "a new era" of space travel, as it aims to replace a host of satellites orbiting the globe and "the beginning of one of the biggest 'tech refreshes' in history".
The company plans to deploy 10 satellites at time and has a seven-flight contract with SpaceX worth $468.1 million.
Since a September explosion during fueling ahead of a pre-flight test in Florida, SpaceX's launch on Saturday was the first launch for the company. The explosion destroyed a $200 million Israeli communications satellite that it was to put into orbit two days later and a $62 million SpaceX booster.
Meanwhile the secret shrouded behind the losses that SpaceX suffered due to the blast last year was revealed in a new report that lifted the curtain on SpaceX's finances and plans. The report also showed past losses suffered and the company's big bet on satellite-based internet services.
After a rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded after launch, the commercial space company suffered a $260 million loss in 2015, revealed the Wall Street Journal from internal documents of the company that it claimed to have obtained ad from interviews with former SpaceX employees.
SpaceX representatives issued a statement earlier to the Journal.
"We have more than 70 future launches on our manifest representing over $10 billion in contracts," SpaceX Chief Financial Officer Bret Johnson told the Journal. "The company is in a financially strong position and is well positioned for future growth." Johnson also said SpaceX has over $1 billion in cash and no debt.
However, after contracts from NASA and satellite companies pushed revenue from $680 million to $1 billion, the company enjoyed profitable years in 2013 and 2014.
By making use of satellites to provide internet service, which so far is still in the planning stages, the company hopes to make good business, the report also revealed.
For the satellite internet business by 2025, SpaxeX projects more than $30 billion in revenue and 40 million subscribers, the documents obtained by the Journal also reveals.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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