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Iridium loss

2000-03-27 05:39:48+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

The new RISKS digest has an interesting note on people whom the loss of Iridium will effect, yet another note on the issues of people who think they've got redundant phone/fiber/whatever lines that the phone company has run through the same physical space.

[ related topics: Technology and Culture ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:29:52+00 by: Mike

It strikes me that crashing the Iridium satellites as soon as the bankruptcy kicks in is tremendously shortsided. It took millions to launch, the first 100 miles of the voyage being the most difficult. Throwing them away would waste all of it. I realize they don't want the system to deteriorate to the point of losing control and have them crash all over the place some years from now, but can't they wait a few months? Perhaps a bankruptcy court would demand the costs of maintaining minimal communication between earth stations and the satellites be given priority over the creditors, as an issue of public safety.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:29:52+00 by: Dan Lyke

Navigation and power system technologies are getting to the point that anything but geosynch satellites for communication are doomed. Much better to put a bunch of low speed solar powered autonomous airplanes at 60,000 feet and be able to use essentially cell phone technologies, and not have to worry about Doppler shift and all those other issues.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:29:52+00 by: jra

Well, perhaps, Dan, but notwithstanding that, the cluster is[Wiki] up there, and it's not just skull sweat that went into it. I agree: I can't *imagine* Motorola splashing 66 birds like that. There has to be something going on we don't know about...