No/Few Iridium Flares after 2017?

From: via Seesat-l <>
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 23:15:27 -0400
FCC Greenlights Iridium Plan for Deorbiting Its 1st-generation 

This reads, in part:

[The first generation satellites] will be lowered to an elliptical orbit 
low enough to force them into the atmosphere to burn up within months, not 
years. ...

... Iridium plans to launch a second-generation constellation starting in 
mid-2015, with all 71 second-generation satellites to be in orbit by late 
2017. As soon as the second-generation satellites are in place, the 
first-generation constellation will be deorbited, with the possible exception of a few 
spacecraft to be used as spares, Iridium has told the FCC.

The second generation satellite doesn't look to me like it will be making 
flares, at least not of the type we've grown to know and love:

Iridium | About | Iridium NEXT

This sounds to me like the end of Iridium flares after 2017, "with the 
possible exception of a few [first generation] spacecraft to be used as spares." 
  Am I misreading this?

Jim Cook
Seesat-l mailing list
Received on Thu Sep 18 2014 - 22:16:15 UTC

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