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So Farewell, Iridium, shot down in flames

The Death Satellite

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Ill-fated Iridium has died after failing to find a buyer on Friday. The US phone company's 66 satellites worth $6 billion will be pulled out of orbit at a cost of more than $40 million to parent company Motorola. Services have been severed with most of the company's 55,000 customers. The company said it would spend $8.3 million of its remaining cash to start closing the business. The satellites will now crash into the sea in a planned "de-orbit". Apparently, this is better than leaving the satellites each the size of a Volkswagon Beetle, to rot in space (they'd get in the way of working satellitees). On Friday, Iridium was reported to be reviewing several bids to submit to the bankruptcy court and keep its 66-satellite network in orbit. Bidders for the company included Gene Curcio, owner of Los Angeles telecomms company Crescent Communications. Curcio's lawyer, Sa'id Mosteshar, was reported to have told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "We are close to an agreement." Curcio wanted Motorola to continue running the satellites for the next two to three months. He had arranged for the task to be then taken over by General Dynamics. No financial details were revealed. The entrepreneur wants to harness Iridium to provide mobile-phone services to areas such as the Middle East and Africa which are poorly served by landlines. Iridium, which filed for bankruptcy in August, has debts of $4.4 billion. ® Related Stories Motorola tells Iridium customers to expect the worst Nippon Iridium halts new subscriptions Iridium steels itself to decommission satellites

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