IRIDIUM 7 / Delta II
The Boeing Company launched its seventh Iridium mission on a Delta II on February 18, 1998, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. It carried five more Iridium satellites into low earth orbit, which brought the number of Iridium satellites in orbit to 51 of the eventual 66 satellites for the completed system. To date, all Iridium launches have been successful, including six Delta II launches of five satellites each, two Russian1 Proton launches of seven satellites each and a Chinese1 Long March of two satellites. Still scheduled are three more Delta launches, another Russian Proton launch, and two more Long March launches to complete the initial deployment. The Iridium system is expected to be operational by late summer.