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Iridium to Burn

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iridium, a U.S. satellite telephone company
operating under bankruptcy protection, is on the verge of one of the
most spectacular business flameouts ever -- literally set to burn up
billions of dollars' worth of Earth-orbiting assets.

Barring the last-minute arrival of a qualified buyer, the company plans
to begin ``de-orbiting'' the 66 satellites that make up the world's
first low-orbit system for wireless telephone service.

That means the network -- variously reported to have cost $5 billion to
$7 billion -- would be vaporized as its satellites, bumped by their
thrusters, plunge from 485 miles above the Earth in flames over the


Jeff, N9AVG

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