The time has come for Iridium to deorbit the lone remaining satellite (SV097) from the original constellation. Although we celebrate the success of the Iridium® NEXT satellite upgrade campaign completed earlier this year, we also mourn the end of the Iridium flare era.
Over 20 years ago, Iridium launched a constellation of 66 satellites into space, paving the way for the future of satellite communications. From Earth, unexpected reminders of the constellation’s presence appeared – Iridium Flares, a streak of light in the sky caused by sunlight reflecting off the main mission antenna of an Iridium® satellite. These Flares, which can be seen anywhere in the world, have been likened to shooting stars. Once this last original satellite has been deorbited there will be no Iridium Flares anymore as the replacement satellites do not exhibit this phenomana.
Iridium will be celebrating this deorbiting with the chance for you to go behind the scenes at the event via the magic of the internet.
Join them on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 12pm EST (1700 UTC) (Webcast feed will begin approximately 10 minutes prior) at www.iridium.com/webcast and see what happens.