re: Thought on Iridium

Philip Chien (
Fri, 16 Jul 1999 02:55:15 -0400

Wayne T Hally <> said:

>Just a thought for all of us here. What if, as seems rather likely, the
>Iridium Consortium goes bankrupt and no longer has the money to control
>their satellites. While there may be some benefit for radio atronomy, can
>you imagine the horror for visual satronomy with over 200 uncontolled
>mirrors capable of reflecting -8 magnitude flashes anywhere in the sky

I wouldn't worry about it too much.  When companies go out of business
completely there's usually an attempt to make an orderly shut down (you
don't want to leave the lights on and water running when the final person
leaves the building).

But more important in the case of Iridium is that the operational
satellites in orbit are an extremely valuable asset.  If Iridium does go
bankrupt then it's highly unlikely that the decision will be made just to
abandon the satellites in orbit.  In all likelyhood (some accountant type
correct me here) either Iridium will continue to operate in some form with
bankrupty protection or whatever investors or banks get the title to the
satellites will attempt to use them in some form or other.

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