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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information please contact:

John M. Windolph

IRIDIUM

(202)326-5626

IRIDIUMTM, LLC announces launch of the first five IRIDIUMTM satellites


The following is the press release issued today by Iridium LLC.

First Five IRIDIUM Satellites Successfully Launched

PR News Wire via Dow Jones

WASHINGTON, May 5, 1997 /PRNewswire/ -- The first five of 66 IRIDIUM satellites were successfully launched on a McDonnell Douglas Delta II rocket today from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, USA. The launch marks an important step toward Iridium LLC's goal of providing global wireless voice, paging, facsimile and data services worldwide by late 1998.

The Delta II lifted off the launch pad at 7:55 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time placing the five IRIDIUM satellites into transfer orbit. All five satellites were deployed beginning 63 minutes after lift-off. The five satellites will undergo in-orbit bus testing on the way to their final target orbit (421.5nm) where the communications payloads will be tested. The five satellites will be located in a slightly inclined (86.4 degrees) orbital plane and will form part of the first orbital plane of the IRIDIUM constellation. Subsequent IRIDIUM satellites will be deployed in six circular polar orbits, with 11 operational satellites per plane.

This first launch represents the first step in building the IRIDIUM constellation. These first five satellites are functional and will be a part of the full 66-satellite network. After this initial launch, these first satellites will be used to test satellite command and control capabilities and basic hardware and software functionality.

Dr. Edward F. Staiano, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Iridium LLC, said, "Today's success is the result of vision and commitment. We congratulate our prime contractor, Motorola, continuing a tradition of excellence, and McDonnell Douglas for its launch expertise -- playing a pivotal role in helping us meet our target. Iridium LLC looks forward to achieving its goal of providing subscribers with the highest quality global wireless services available."

"The successful launch of the first IRIDIUM satellites represents another step in the dawning of a new age of communications. Motorola is proud to help IRIDIUM bring personal global communications to the world," said Motorola Chief Executive Officer Christopher Galvin.

The first five IRIDIUM satellites are part of a 66-satellite wireless personal telecommunications network designed to permit any type of telephone transmission -- voice, data, fax, and paging -- to reach its destination virtually anywhere in the world at any time. The remaining satellites are planned to be launched between now and mid-1998 for worldwide commercial service availability in late 1998.

Iridium LLC is an international consortium of leading telecommunications and industrial companies financing the development of the IRIDIUM system. Owner organizations include: Iridium Africa Corporation, Iridium Canada, Inc., Iridium China (Hong Kong), Ltd., Iridium India Telecom Limited, Iridium Middle East Corporation, Iridium SudAmerica Corporation, Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center of the Russian Federation, Korea Mobile Telecommunications of Korea, Lockheed Martin Corporation and Motorola, Inc. of the U.S., Nippon Iridium Corporation of Japan, o.tel.o communications bH of Germany, Pacific Electric Wire & Cable Co., Ltd. of Taiwan, Raytheon Company of the U.S., Sprint Corporation of the U.S., STET Group -- Societa Finanziara Telefonica per Azioni of Italy, and Thai Satellite Telecommunications Co., Ltd. of Thailand.

NOTE: IRIDIUM is a registered trademark and service mark of Iridium LLC (C) 1997



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