PARIS — Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications, its second-generation constellation now operational, on Feb. 6 offered future New Space constellations a cautionary-but-uplifting story of how survived nine years of occasionally Class VI whitewater financial challenges to reach what promises to be a decade-long capex holiday.

The factors are many and include the rock-solid design of the original Lockheed/Motorola Iridium constellation, the benevolence of the French government, the astute selection of an untested, half-priced launch service called SpaceX, the loyalty of the U.S. Defense Department as . . .

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