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Failed satellite drifting, still broadcasting
Posted: Wed, May 5, 2010, 7:23 AM ET (1123 GMT)
A commercial communications satellite that suffered an anomaly last month continues to broadcast while drifting in GEO, posing both collision and interference risks to other satellites. The Galaxy 15 satellite, built by Orbital Sciences and owned by Intelsat, became unresponsive a month ago, apparently after suffering damage during a solar storm, and started to drift from its location at 133 degrees west in GEO. In an unusual case, the satellite's payload of C-band transponders continued to broadcast at full strength despite being unresponsive to commands. Efforts to try and shut down the satellite, including one earlier this week, have failed, according to Intelsat. Satellite operators are concerned not only about the potential for collisions with other satellites as it drifts through the GEO arc, but also potential interference since the satellite continues broadcasting.
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