RE: Iridium Flares to End?

Philip Chien (
Tue, 17 Aug 1999 19:50:16 -0400

Phil Chien wrote in response to Wayne T Hally:
>> If you're going to whine again - at least provide some basis for your
>> comments instead of just lashing out without any evidence to back your
>> claims.

"Jim Varney" <> replied:

>Yeah, but you didn't provide any evidence either.  Your scenario of an
>orderly transfer of Iridium operations to another firm is a reasonable one,
>but it's your conjecture, not evidence.

two points here -

My complaint to Wayne was not so much that he disagreed with my assessment
- but that he ignored it completely because it contradicted his conjecture
that the sky's falling. (to mix a metaphor)

My scenario is hardly 'just' a reasonable conjecture.  No it isn't
evidence, no I couldn't prove it a court of law, and no there's no way to
'prove' that that's what's going to happen if - hypothetically the decision
is made to not use the Iridium satellites for any purpose in the future.

But I ask you -- is it really plausible to believe, as Wayne has claimed,
that when Iridium goes out of business that they're just going to leave the
satellites in orbit and forget about them?  Any more so than any other
business shutting down a plant and leaving the water running and lights on
when the last person leaves (a fairly good analogy, but with the plant if
somebody was to leave the utilities on somebody else could shut them off.
A tad more difficult with satellites in orbit).

The most likely scenario, as outlined by several folks, is whoever
eventually owns the Iridium constellation (the investors, the banks who
loaned the money to Iridium, etc.) will get the ownership of the satellites
and continue to operate them with a restructured company.

The other possible plausible scenario is if the economics prove to be
unviable then the satellites will be deactivated and deorbited.

But I stand by my statement that the highly implausible scenario is the
decision will be made to just abandon the satellites in orbit without
bothering to minimize any potential for future damage - including light

Philip Chien, KC4YER
Earth News
world (in)famous writer, science fiction fan, ham radio operator,
all-around nice guy, etc.