Feeds

Wayward 'zombiesat' poses risk to other satellites

Ground control to Galaxy 15

Security for virtualized datacentres

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
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM
'What fun!' exlaims NASA boffin who found the LADEE
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.