Re: Iridium

From: Dale Ireland (
Date: Mon Mar 20 2000 - 09:42:34 PST

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    The statement from Motorola on Friday said they would try to maintain iridium
    service for an unspecified time to accommodate people in remote areas as you
    describe. They also said it will be at least 9 months before Iridiums begin
    being de-orbited and the process will take two years to complete wrote:
    > Slightly off topic but a result of the recent Iridium collapse.
    > Jari
    > Mon, Mar 20th
    > Polar Explorers On Canadian Trek Isolated By Phone Collapse
    > OSLO (Reuters) - Two Norwegians trekking across the Arctic via the North
    > Pole face isolation with the collapse of the $5 billion Iridium satellite
    > telephone network, a spokesman said Monday. Rune Gjeldnes and Torry Larsen,
    > trying to become the first people to ski from Russia to Canada via the North
    > Pole hauling sledges, will be unable to talk to the outside world when the
    > Iridium satellites fall from orbit.
    > ``They're prepared to be cut off. They're in a good mood,'' Norwegian
    > expedition spokesman Gunnar Vetlejord said, adding they had previously
    > crossed Greenland with no phone. Iridium LLC failed to find a rescuer from
    > bankruptcy Friday. Its 66 satellites will burn up when they fall from orbit.
    > A French rower trying to cross the Pacific, Jo Le Guen, is also among those
    > cut off, organizers said Saturday. ``The main disadvantage will be that we
    > can't tell them about the weather or ice conditions based on satellite
    > photographs,'' Vetlejord said. ``And we can't give them news, encouragement
    > or pass on questions from home.''
    > The two Norwegians set out from northern Siberia on February 16 and aim to
    > pass the North Pole at the end of April and reach Ward Hunt Island in Canada
    > in June. The still have an emergency beacon to transmit their position, but
    > cannot receive any data. Vetlejord told Reuters that organizers had hoped to
    > use the phones, for instance, to tell the pair to change course when
    > satellite photographs showed big gaps in the ice. With no warning system,
    > the two may have to make bigger detours. One advantage of the collapse of
    > the network was that the two would be able to throw away phones and
    > batteries, weighing several kilos (lbs), from their heavy sledges.
    > -----------------------------------------------------------------
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    Dale Ireland
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