Feeds

Iridium satellite crashes over Arctic

Didn't appreciate the gravity of the situation?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

One of Iridium's fleet of telecommunications satellites has fallen out of orbit, burning up in the atmosphere somewhere over the Arctic Ocean this week.

A second satellite is due to become a shooting star around the 17 December, and others are expected to follow it Earth-ward in the coming months.

Anyone concerned that this marks the end of the Iridium network need not be. The satellites currently plummeting downward are those that failed to operate and were replaced by other, functioning satellites later.

The satellite that crashed this week was launched on 8 September 1998. It went out of control in November 1998 and was left spinning back to the Earth, according to Space.com.

The crash was recorded by the US Space Command, which tracks around 8000 artificial satellites in Earth orbit. Many of them, like the Iridium unit, are just so much junk whizzing around the globe until their orbits decay and they come crashing back to Earth.

According to NASA, there's a one in 10,000 chance that remains of a crashing Iridium Satellite will land on someone - rather lower than the chance of being financially burned as an Iridium investor...

Iridium has around 70 functional satellites in its network, all of them bought for $25 million last month by a new company, Iridium Satellite. The price includes all of Iridium's terrestrial base-stations. IS will reactivate the network and sell mobile communications solutions to the US government and big business. ®

Related Story

Iridium back from the dead

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.