Yesterday, Iridium lost an operational satellite. According to information shared with the company by various U.S. government organisations that monitor satellites and other space objects (such as debris), it appears that the satellite loss is the result of a collision with a non-operational Russian satellite. Although this event has relatively limited impact on Iridium’s service, the company is taking immediate action to address the loss. The Iridium constellation is healthy, and this event is not the result of a failure on the part of Iridium or its technology.
Iridium has responded quickly to reroute service around the lost satellite and to work with the various government agencies that track satellites and debris in space to learn all that they can about the event. Iridium is committed to the full restoration of service as expeditiously as possible.
The Iridium constellation is uniquely designed to withstand the loss of an operational satellite, and Iridium is taking the necessary steps to replace the lost satellite with one of its in-orbit spares.
In terms of the impact to customers, some may experience brief outages during the next three days until Iridium are able to re-route traffic that is impacted by the Ka-band link that brings the Iridium constellation’s commercial communications traffic to Earth. Iridium expects to implement this network routing change by Friday.
Over the course of the next 30 days, Iridium expects to move one of its in-orbit spare satellites into the network constellation to permanently replace the lost satellite.
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