Zombie Satellite Galaxy 15 able to reset itself in space

By on Jan 2, 2011 in Current Events, Science Comments
Photo credit: ThirdAge.com

The zombie satellite Galaxy 15, operated by Intelsat, has finally come back to life after resetting itself last December 23, 2010, according to international news sites. Galaxy 15 lost contact with flight control since April 5, 2010 due to a suspected intense solar storm, according to its manufacturer, Orbital Sciences Corporation of Virginia. It was originally launched on October 13, 2005, designed to operate until 2020.

According to Intelsat, even though the zombie satellite was down, it was able to transmit signals through its communications center. This continued transmission of signals from Galaxy 15 has raised fears that it might create problems on nearby satellites. Intelsat tried to shutdown the zombie satellite but failed several times.

The zombie satellite was able to reset itself when its battery powered by solar panels got drained. This enable Galaxy 15 to start accepting commands from Intelsat’s control center. The satellite is currently in safe mode.

Here is part of the statement issued by officials of Intelsat about the zombie satellite:

The most critical phase of Galaxy 15’s recovery has been successfully completed. After we complete the initial diagnostic tests on Galaxy 15 and the drift of the satellite stopped, we expect to relocate the satellite to an Intelsat orbital location where we will assess the viability of the payload, and conduct extensive in-orbit testing to determine the functionality of every aspect of the spacecraft.

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