Orbital Collision: Please Pick Up the Nearest Black Courtesy Phone
Cryptogon - February 12th, 2009
So, an Iridium satellite just happened to collide with a defunct Russian military satellite…
You’re about to learn how the sausage gets made, and, before we begin, you should know that it’s not pretty.
I don’t know the whole story about Iridium, but it has got to be one of the spookiest tales of them all.
In November 1998, Motorola activated the Iridium communications network, a constellation of low-earth orbit satellites that provides wireless telecom and data services to any location on the planet. The cost to build the system? About $5 billion. By August 1999, unable to sign up enough customers — because of extremely high handset costs and per minute usage fees — Iridium was facing bankruptcy.