Australia: Iridium to extend satellite lifespan by five years

Feb 19, 2024 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

Satellite firm Iridium announced in its quarterly earnings call this month, Iridium said it will be extending the life of its Thales Alenia Space-made NEXT satellite fleet by five years.

Iridium CEO Matt Desch said in the earnings call, “Based on the manufacturer's assessment, we've been using a 12.5-year useful life for accounting purposes since 2019. We reevaluate that assessment periodically, and our most recent review in the fourth quarter prompted us to update the constellation's estimated life, which we now believe will perform well through at least 2035. These incremental data points led us to formally change our forecast for satellite life from 12.5 years to 17.5 years.”

Desch noted the lifespan could be extended again in the future, “We got over 20 years out of our last constellation. So 17.5 I hope is still [the] lower end of what we'll ultimately end up getting,” he said.