Spaceviews: Iridium deorbiting may take up to two years.

From: Ed Cannon (
Date: Sat Mar 18 2000 - 00:38:44 PST

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    Below is an excerpt from a Spaceviews story published early on
    March 18 UTC at this URL:
    "While it operates the satellites for at least the short term,
    Morotola [sic] will be drafting a plan deorbit the constellation 
    of 66 operational satellites as well as several on-orbit spares,
    beginning within the next two weeks.
    "Motorola will command the spacecraft to fire their thrusters
    to gradually lower their orbits, then allow atmospheric drag
    to take over, lowering the spacecraft into the atmosphere
    where they would harmlessly burn up.
    "It would take up to nine months to rewrite software and fire
    the thrusters for the initial orbit-lowering maneuver, and up
    to two years until all the satellites have been deorbited."
    Ed Cannon - - Austin, Texas, USA
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