MCLEAN, Va., Aug. 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) announces the winners of its Iridium NEXT Mission Team Scholarship program, one of the largest and most significant scholarships in the aerospace industry. Now in its second year, the annual program awards scholarships to the best and brightest aerospace engineering students in the world, including those already engaged in the development of Iridium NEXT through Iridium or Mission Team partner internships.
The winners of the 2013 Iridium NEXT Mission Team Scholarship are:
-- Eric McVay, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
-- Chelsea Welch, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.
-- Christopher Nie, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.
"We're very excited to build on the success of last year's program through the selection of the three outstanding students for the Iridium NEXT Mission Team scholarship," said Scott Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Iridium. "While Iridium NEXT represents the contributions of the best and brightest minds in today's aerospace industry, these students are the industry's future. And if the quality of applicants we received this year is any indication, the future of our industry is very bright."
Created as part of Iridium's vision for the future, the Iridium NEXT Mission Team Scholarship program aims to foster the development of young engineers who have demonstrated high standards of academic excellence in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with a focus on aerospace studies. The 2013-2014 winners were selected based on a set of academic and objective criteria including letters of recommendation, a biography and a personal essay.
The multi-year scholarship is made possible through an endowment funded by contributions from Iridium NEXT Mission Team companies, an innovative group of partners that are working on the company's next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT. By joining together, the Iridium NEXT Mission Team is supporting the development of aerospace students and encouraging new leaders in the industry.
Along with contributions from Iridium, the 2013-2014 program is being funded by Iridium NEXT Mission Team members including SpaceX, Thales Alenia Space, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, SEAKR and MDA.
Iridium NEXT, Iridium's next generation satellite constellation, is the largest commercial space program underway today. With the support of its Mission Team partners, Iridium anticipates the first scheduled satellite launch of the new constellation in early 2015.
To learn more about the Iridium NEXT Mission Team Scholarship please visit http://www.iridium.com/About/IridiumNEXT/ScholarshipProgram.aspx.
About Iridium Communications Inc.
Iridium(R) is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ever-expanding ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. The company has a major development program underway for its next-generation network -- Iridium NEXT. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM. For more information about Iridium products, services and partner solutions, visit www.iridium.com.