Re: Re: Iridium Flares to End?

Rick McFarlane (
Thu, 12 Aug 1999 20:53:42 -0400

I think Ed's right.  The main asset of that corporation is a constellation
of operational satelites.  They are valuable.  If their owner goes bankrupt,
ownership will change, but someone will continue to use that asset.

But the problem for astronomers still exists.  Sooner or later, every one of
those satelites will reach the end of it's operational life and begin to
tumble and create unpredicatable flares.  And there's always at least one of
them above the horizon.  If I understand correctly, their orbits are high
enough that they won't decay for a long time after that.  We're really just
discussing whether it will be a problem before year's end or ten years from

Take care.

----- Original Message -----
From: Ed Troy <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, August 07, 1999 4:07 PM
Subject: : Re: Iridium Flares to End?

> I would not worry about Iridium being abandoned. After all, it is already
> bought and paid for. If they do go bankrupt, someone else will just buy
> assets for pennies on the dollar and have a goldmine. The main reason
> Iridium is not working is that it is way too expensive, at more than
> $5/minute. Once they get the price down to a buck a minute, or so, it will
> take off, especially when they can sell the radios for well under $1000.
> Early radios, as I understand, were something like $5K or more. Again, not
> many people are willing to pay the price. But, the radios have come down
> about $1K now, and will get much cheaper as volume increases, and if
> someone buys the assets for a few cents on the dollar, they will be able
> operate for reasonable, attractive rates. Thus, Iridium will survive, but
> it will probably be held by other people.
> Ed