Creating Iridium, How a Remarkable Team Made Space History by Durrell Hillis
408 page perfect bound first edition.
CREATING IRIDIUM describes how a wife's simple question led to a brilliant idea that turned the space industry and mobile communications literally upside down. An interlinked network of 66 satellites providing communication to every spot on the globe was unthinkable, world wide operating licenses were believed impossible to attain and raising billions of dollars from 17 international companies seemed beyond the reach of a small division of Motorola that was considered a bit player in the space arena.
Despite overwhelming odds the Iridium team threw away virtually every standard practice in the space industry, created new models for manufacturing and mega-project management, produced a satellite a day, put 72 satellites in orbit in 13 months and completed the $5b system on schedule and on budget.
From the KGB agent hired as a consultant to Iridium to Osama bin Laden's brother as an Iridium, Inc board member to the author's surreal experience of being in the Russian ICBM factory and given a camera to take pictures four weeks after seeing the outside of the factory in a highly classified meeting at the NRO, the story of the creation of Iridium is an inspiring look at how a remarkable team of teams' passion to do the impossible resulted in one of the great technological achievements of our time.
After a system lifetime lasting 10 years beyond the expected, the widespread and growing number of benefits of Iridium to the world continues with the replacement of the original satellites by Iridium NEXT beginning the second half of 2016.