On Jan. 11, 2019, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and placed the final 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into low earth orbit.
This launch brought the total number of Aireon satellites in orbit to 75 — (66 operational payloads and nine spares).
“Today we passed a major milestone on our journey to revolutionize air traffic surveillance and are just weeks away from a fully operational system,” said Don Thoma, CEO of Aireon. “Now that the launches are complete, final integration and testing of the recently launched payloads can commence, after which the world’s first, real-time, truly global view of air traffic will be a reality.”
So far, the system is processing more than 13 billion ADS-B messages a month, with that number expected to grow upon full deployment, according to company officials.