A new satellite communications system was launched recently and its backers say it is set to revolutionise global wireless services.
Called IRIDIUM the system will include paging, fascimile and data services as well as telecommunications to virtually anywhere in the world. The network will offer the convenience of a wireless handheld telephone with a single number for worldwide use.
The system will be able to put people in touch with areas not yet reached by wireless communications networks including polar regions, mountainous areas, in the air and all over the world's oceans.
The first three IRIDIUM satellites have been launched from Vandemburg Air Force Base, Lompoc, California.
The satellite was taken up in a rocket which carries a dispenser designed to eject the satellites just minutes apart into separate orbits. Later launches will carry five satellites each. Russia and China will also provide launch facilities and rockets enabling IRIDIUM to complete its ...