Feeds

Drifting zombiesat could disrupt TV programming

Containing Galaxy 15

High performance access to file storage

Technicians are scrambling to keep an out-of-control satellite from interfering with US television programming as it drifts into the orbit of another satellite.

Galaxy 15, operated by Luxembourg-based Intelsat, stopped responding to ground controllers last month and has gradually been drifting about a tenth of a degree per day, according to news reports. It is currently just slightly to the east of Hawaii, about 22,000 miles above the equator.

Although the communications satellite is no longer responsive, it continues to broadcast its signal, posing a risk to the transmissions of a separate satellite, which is known as AMC 11 and is operated by Intelsat competitor SES World Skies. AMC 11 transmits high-definition television signals for more than 100 channels, including Showtime, MTV, and the Food Network.

Technicians at both satellite companies have a variety of options to prevent Galaxy 15 from interfering with AMC 11's signals. One is to use AMC 11's propulsion system to change the satellite's location. Other possibilities include moving some of its traffic onto other satellites or switching some of the customers to larger uplink antennas.

Galaxy 15 lost touch with ground crews on April 15 as the result of a solar storm. It is expected to eventually drift into one of two libration points, where at least 160 other "zombiesats" already await it.

Additional coverage from CNN, MSNBC, and Dow Jones is available here, here and here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
Get your MOON GEAR: Auction to feature Space Race memorabilia
Keepsakes from early NASA, Soviet programs up for bids
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.