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In the heat of competition: Because of Russian red tape Iridium has switched from a Russian rocket to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 for placing its first 10 next generation communications satellites in orbit this year.
I thought the Putin government’s consolidation of its entire aerospace industry into a single corporation was going to speed things up? Not. Then again, SpaceX might not be any better, considering the problems it continues to have meeting its launch schedule.