Iridium CommunicationsÂ aims to launch the secondÂ batch of 10Â Iridium NEXT satellites to low Earth orbit in mid-June aboard aÂ SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The satellite communications company said WednesdayÂ the original schedule for the second mission moved from mid-April due to a backlog in the SpaceX launch manifest.
“Even with this eight-week shift, SpaceXâ€™s targeted schedule completes our constellation in mid-2018,” said Iridium CEOÂ Matt Desch.
“[We]Â are eager to maintain the momentum until our network is completed.”
The first batch of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites launchedÂ in JanuaryÂ and transmitted signals to ground control as part of a potential $3 billionÂ program that would replace an existing satellite communications network that serves both government and commercial customers.
Iridium said theÂ first satellite from the initial launch connected into itsÂ global LEO constellation via its crosslinks and will soon become operational.
Scott Smith, chief operating officer at Iridium, also noted that satellite testing and validation activities are ongoing and ahead of schedule.
SpaceX will launch the remainder of the next-generation satelliteÂ constellationÂ in sixÂ subsequent batchesÂ with two-month intervals, Iridium added.