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Intelsat regains control of Galaxy 15
Posted: Tue, Jan 4, 2011, 7:06 AM ET (1206 GMT)
Galaxy 15 illustration (OSC) Intelsat has regained control of Galaxy 15, a communications satellite that had been drifting through geosynchronous orbit for months, disrupting operations of other satellites there. Intelsat reported that, on December 23, the satellite's battery completely drained, resetting its command unit. That allowed the satellite to once again accept commands from the ground, and engineers put the satellite into a protective safe mode. Controllers lost control of the satellite in April 2010, perhaps due to a solar storm, and the satellite started drifting in GEO while continuing to broadcast on its C-band transponders. This forced other satellite operators to enact contingency plans as Galaxy 15 passed by their satellites, although no interference or other problems were ultimately reported. Intelsat now plans to conduct diagnostic tests on the Orbital-built satellite to determine whether the satellite could be put back into service.
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