Iridium Speaks Out on Satellite Safety

After losing one of its on-orbit communications satellites last month in a collision with an inactive Russian satellite, Iridium has called for more aggressive action on the part of the US government and commercial industry to increase the margin of safety for space operations. In a release March 9, the company said it supports long-term investment, including adding sensors to government and commercial satellites, to improve space situational awareness so that the space environment is better understood. Among its other recommendations, the company calls for improved information sharing between industry and the US government to enhance the timeliness and accuracy of predicting potential collisions, providing warning, and enabling action to be taken to avoid collisions. In the same release, Iridium said it completed the on-orbit replacement of its lost satellite on March 4, thereby restoring its constellation to full strength. (For more, read the March 9 Network World report.)