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Iridium saga

I think that the Iridium saga will be provide lots of material for Engineering
and Business case studies. There is no single reason why Iridium failed, its a
bunch of reasons together. 
1. The system concept is an awesome one. Having multiple satellites phased
precisely, and crosslinked with each other sounds great, yet technologically
hard to achieve.
2. Motorola never did complete satellite systems, even though they have
extensive experience in satellite subsystems. Rumors have it that there were a
lot of design mistakes done in the engineering aspect of the system. The
ground controllers had to spend too much time hunting the satellites down, and
doing maintenance on the birds.
1. Motorola underestimated the market size for the phones, and totally missed
on the fact the cell phone technology was becoming global. Nowadays Europe is
pretty connected with roaming GSM, and the US is getting there, other regions
are following too. In several years, we will be able to take our $0.01 phone,
and used it pretty much everywhere.
2. The marketing front made a huge mistake by marketing the phone as a
replacement for Joe businessman's regular phone. I think they used the slogan
"anytime - everywhere". I heard that those businessmen that did switch their
phones, returned it to the sales agents real fast!

So, there are lots of reasons for the current status, and future analysis is
sure to come. 

I don't think we could really use the satellite for amateur
purposes. The links are digital and us motorola protocols, so we can't just
flip the transponder switch to on and use them. 

Perhaps we can convince them to send one of the Iridium satellites to chase
down the ASUSat1 and supply power through the abilical connector ;-) (just

assi kk7kx/4x1kx

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