IRIDIUM 9 / Delta II
The Boeing Company successfully launched a Delta II launch vehicle on 17 May 1998, at 21:16 UTC. The Delta II was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and carried five IRIDIUM satellites to low earth orbit. The completed IRIDIUM system will consist of 66 spacecraft plus six on-orbit spares and will be a satellite-based, global wireless communications network. Reportedly, 68 operational satellites are on orbit.