All of those have been tested and have moved into service, replacing 10 of the old satellites.
Scott Smith, chief operating officer at Iridium, said: “Conducting multiple slot swaps to replace a network of this magnitude is an incredible task … We have been preparing for this process for years, and since first launch the team has worked non-stop to manage each manoeuvre to successfully integrate the new satellites into the active network.”
SpaceX plans to launch satellites 11-20 on 29 June. The private company, run by electric car entrepreneur Elon Musk, is running behind schedule because of a launch-pad explosion last September. Iridium expects to complete its replacement programme by the middle of 2018.
Iridium said last week that it expects total service revenue to be growing at 3-5% a year this year and that it will reach $440 million to $465 million for the full year 2019.