Somehow I missed the news about the intention of Motorola to commence the de-orbiting of the Iridium satellites after the cut-off of service on St. Patty's day.
Such a waste of talent and resources.
A tarmac of broken satellites
I think the death of Iridium is sad, too, but they have helped pave the road to global connectivity with the fragments of their fallen avatars. Hail, o pioneers, and farewell.
Masters of the Universe
Sadly, the Iridium sitatuion reflects our intolerance for anything that doesn't provide instant returns. And destroying the satellites fits right in with our disposable culture. To heck with long-term investment or maintaining valuable infrastructure for the future! If earlier generations had felt this way, we'd still be hitting the roads in our buggies, and smoke signals would be the preferred means of communication.
Masters of the Universe rule
Unfortunately, these pioneers are caught in the era of Instant Profits or Die! And their work is falling victim to our throwaway culture. Forget about investment in the future. If earlier generations had felt this way, the land west of the Mississippi would still be a wilderness, we'd still be hitting the roads in our buggies, and smoke signals would remain the preferred means of communication.
I hadn't thought about it before, but smoke signals are one of the original wireless technologies. But then I guess you could say that about megaphones, too.
Even though Iridium couldn't hang in there, perhaps other pioneers will be able to profit from their efforts. And profit fast enough that we can actually use their products!
Other pioneers already are at work (I think !). According to a Business Wire report dated 3/23/00, an outfit called Merit Studios is discussing using Iridium's satellites and "wormhole" technology for data transmission. The plan includes streamlining the satellite operating system and reducing the number of gateways. It sounds promising, but then, I'm a technology ignoramus and may not understand what I'm reading.... Wiser heads than mine can check out this report at:
Keeping up there long enough
I saw one of the press releases about this concept, while intriguing I wonder who is going to pay the maintenance fees to keep these satellites up there long enough to try these utilization concepts.