Some details on first gen Iridium de-orbiting

From: Jim Cook via Seesat-l <>
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:45:46 -0400

Iridium hails performance of new satellites, targets four more launches this year - Spaceflight Now

"Desch said Iridium decommissioned the first of its now-disused satellites, Space Vehicle No. 40, a few weeks ago. The satellite, which launched on a Delta 2 rocket in November 1997, fired thrusters to lower its orbit below the Iridium fleet, emptied its propellant tanks, depleted its batteries, opened its electrical relays and positioned its solar panels for maximum drag, he said.
"The maneuvers ensure most Iridium satellites will re-enter the atmosphere and burn up with a year after completing the decommissioning procedures, according to Desch.

There's more in the last few paragraphs.

Anyone have any sense on whether first generation Iridiums will still produce flares during this de-orbiting phase and if they will be predictible, at least for a time?

- Jim Cook
Germantown, MD, US 
Seesat-l mailing list
Received on Sat Apr 29 2017 - 09:46:16 UTC

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