Out-of-Control Communications Satellite Threatens to Interrupt Cable Programming Next Week

May 12, 2010  •  Post A Comment

A TV communications satellite that’s been knocked out of its orbit by a solar storm is threatening to fall into the orbit of a working TV communications satellite and interrupt some cable programming next week, theAssociated Press reports.

According to the story, "Communications company Intelsat said it lost control of the Galaxy 15 satellite on April 5, possibly because the satellite’s systems were knocked out by a solar storm. Intelsat cannot remotely steer the satellite to remain in its orbit, so Galaxy 15 is creeping toward the adjacent path of another TV communications satellite that serves U.S. cable companies. Galaxy 15 continues to receive and transmit satellite signals, and they will probably overlap and interfere with signals from the second satellite, known as AMC 11, if Galaxy 15 drifts into its orbit as expected around May 23, according to the two satellite companies."

Furthermore, the AP reports, " ‘That fact means that there is likely to be some kind of interference, [said] Yves Feltes, a spokesman for AMC 11 owner SES World Skies. ‘Our aim is to bring any interference down to zero.’ "

No cable networks were identified in the story, nor was the possilbe length of time of any disruption reported.

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