Iridium 97 replacing Iridium 36?

From: Rod Sladen (satellite@rod.sladen.org.uk)
Date: Wed Jan 10 2007 - 19:14:45 EST

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    In the last few days, Iridium 97 (27450,2002-031A), previously a spare
    satellite in orbital plane 4, has entered the operational constellation,
    evidently to replace Iridium 36 (24967, 1997-056C). Iridium 36 currently
    remains close to its nominal position in the constellation, and it is as
    yet unclear whether Iridium 36 has failed completely.
    
    Currently, if Iridium 36 retains its correct orientation, there is high
    potential for double flares, with these two satellite separated by only
    about 5 seconds in time.
    
    I have updated my Iridium Constellation Status page at
    http://www.rod.sladen.org.uk/iridium.htm to take account of the change.
    
    
    This appears to be the first change in the Iridium constellation since
    Iridium 21 entered the operational constellation to replace Iridium 74,
    almost exactly one year ago.
    
    -- 
    Rod Sladen
    
    Beeston, Nottinghamshire, UK
    52.923N, 1.208W
    
    
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