by Peter B. de Selding

Iridium Next Satellite. Credit: Iridium

PARIS — Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications has found a ride share customer for the extra SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket it purchased on the heels of its seven-launch, 70-satellite launch services contract with SpaceX.

The two U.S.-German GRACE-Follow-On gravity-field-mapping satellites are contracted to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 in late 2017 or early 2018, according to industry officials and the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ), an affiliate of the German Aerospace Center, DLR.

GFZ said the two GRACE-FO satellites, built as a cooperative effort . . .

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