Feeds

Wayward 'zombiesat' poses risk to other satellites

Ground control to Galaxy 15

Intelligent flash storage arrays

An out-of-control Intelsat satellite that stopped communicating with ground crews last month poses a threat to other satellites as it wanders about 36,000km above the earth.

Dubbed Galaxy 15, the satellite stopped responding to ground controllers on April 5, according to Space.com. Since then, engineers have sent more than 150,000 commands to the roving craft in an attempt to regain control of it.

Its most recently reported orbital spot was 133 degrees west longitude 36,000km over the equator.

The first satellite that's likely to face signal interference is the AMC-11, which is owned by SES. Galaxy 15 will enter the AMC-11's neighborhood on May 23 and will exit it around June 7. May 31 to June 1 will be the riskiest time for AMC-11 customers as its parent, SES World Skies, tries to position it as far as possible from the wayward Galaxy 15 while still allowing it to operate as normally as possible.

SES and Intelsat have been meeting since shortly after Galaxy 15 lost contact in an attempt to minimize interference.

Galaxy 15 could interfere with other satellites as well. The Galaxy 13 and Galaxy 14 could encounter problems in mid July.

Galaxy 15 is just one of many "zombiesats" that wander the geostationary arc after becoming unresponsive. Many eventually drift to one of two libration points located at 105 degrees west and 75 degrees east. More than 160 satellites are gathered at these points, which are the orbital equivalents of rain gutters. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?
How artificial lighting could offer an artificial promise
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.