Reply to post: Re: Yes, yes, but

Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico

Aslan

Re: Yes, yes, but

1. You're correct. What I was thinking of was the USA's TDRSS a network currently of 7 satellites in geosynchronous orbit first with the first satellites launched in 1983 aboard challenger. There's somewhere between 3 official 7-8+ total ground stations for the network. It exists to provide data relay for satellites and manned space missions so that a large network of ground stations isn't necessary. (IE in a 90 minute orbit a ground station would only be able to see the satellite for 15 minutes) I've a friend who got to fly some hardware that used the network.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracking_and_data_relay_satellite explains it best, and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TDRSS is the article that most of that info should be in.

2. Friday 03/17/2000 "The satellite network was to shut down at midnight Friday, after last-ditch searches failed to find a qualified buyer to save the struggling system." http://archive.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2000/03/35043

However it appears the network wasn't entirely shut down as stated in the previous article,

http://archive.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2000/08/38424

I read the story at the time that said the network was shut down and one man had the keys to bring it back online, but I can't find that story at the moment. I know I have it in my archive of paper magazines. Here's an article on Iridium being purchased, it was for $25 million and the company, Landmark Communications, planned to spend $7 million a month to maintain it. http://archive.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2000/12/40629

3. The above link states there were military contracts in place in 2000. Further

http://www.afcea.org/content/?q=node/1054

"A funding request from the Navy calls for acceleration of key submarine communications programs by two years, fiscal year 2007 rather than 2009. Innovative technologies for speeding up submarine communications include the acoustic-to-radio-frequency gateway buoy, a tethered Iridium two-way expendable buoy, an Iridium-based BRT-6 follow-on one-way buoy and a tethered ultrahigh frequency (UHF) satellite communications expendable buoy."

Then there's the usual logic of if the public knew about it in 2005 the capability may well have already existed as a classified project and the money to "develop" the project may simply have been rolled back into other black projects.

4. If you're important enough you can always get the money from Uncle Sam. Iridium was and is that kind of important.

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