Level: 124 
Life: 4638 / 4638
Magic: 32005 / 90670
Thanked 5,577 Times in 1,419 Posts
Join Date: Oct 2006
Intelsatís Zombie Sat still drifting -
Intelsatís Zombie Sat still drifting
Chris Forrester | 12-05-2010
The news to date has all been bad over Intelsatís errant satellite, Galaxy-15. It is drifting steadily, but uncontrollably, towards SES World Skiesí AMC-11 craft. A collision is not expected, but the Zombie Sat is still going to be a pain in the neck for all concerned.
The problem was updated in an analysts call (May 12) when Intelsatís executives hosted a conference call. They confirmed that all traffic had successfully been shifted from G-15 to G-12. They said if they cannot fix things they will have to suffer an "impairment loss" of $142.4m for the satellite alone.
At the moment the greatest risk is in interference. The wayward satellite, while refusing to listen to ground-based controls to switch itself off, is acting like a giant lighthouse, automatically picking up whatever signals it can grab hold of and seamlessly retransmitting those signals to the ground. Once it gets within the vicinity of AMC-11 it will start collecting signals intended for AMC-11 and thus risk interfering with AMC-11ís own broadcasts.
It is understood that Galaxy-15 will enter AMC-11ís orbital space in about a weekís time on May 22-23, exiting on about June 7. It will be two weeks of serious headaches for AMC-11ís engineers who will have to make alternate plans to probably remove channels from their own satellite as well as possibly moving the satellite away from the threatening G-15ís path.