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27-Jul-99 | Iridum flights cancelled

As Iridium struggles with financial difficulties, its “as-needed” 12th and 13th missions aboard Delta II have quietly slipped from the schedule. Apparently Iridium needs customers more than it needs orbiting satellites. Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department has bought 1,000 portable phones in a $1.4 million contract, but whether this is due to the security of Iridium’s non-reliance on terrestrial networks, or an attempt to help Motorola keep the company afloat, is uncertain.

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