WASHINGTON-Iridium L.L.C. launched seven satellites on a proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
The satellites are part of a 66-satellite wireless personal telecommunications network designed to permit any type of telephone transmission worldwide including voice, data, fax and paging. The first five Iridium satellites were launched in early May.
This is the first of three launches scheduled at Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center in Baikonur. The site was chosen more than four years ago by Motorola Inc., the prime contractor for the Iridium system.
The seven satellites will undergo in-orbit testing for two weeks before reaching their final target orbit. These satellites will be placed into the second orbital plane of the 66-satellite Iridium constellation, said the company.