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Shelf Life

The true story of Iridium, a phone that links every inch of the planet

Kai Ryssdal Jun 6, 2016
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Shelf Life

The true story of Iridium, a phone that links every inch of the planet

Kai Ryssdal Jun 6, 2016
HTML EMBED:
COPY

If you’ve never heard of the satellite constellation called Iridium, you are not alone.

“Motorola had decided that the answer to the world’s use of cell phones would be to put the cell towers in the sky instead of trying to build cell towers one to five miles apart all across the world” said John Bloom, author of “Eccentric Orbits: The Iridium Story.” Bloom continued, “and so they opened for business and nobody came.”

The story of what happened next involves a Palm Beach retiree who was determined to save the Iridium system as he battled Motorola and thirty banks while finding allies in some unlikely places.

Read an excerpt of “Eccentric Orbits.” Click the audio player above to hear the full interview. 

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