‘Zombie’ sat brought back to life
December 29, 2010
Intelsat’s troublesome Galaxy 15 satellite, which went AWOL back in May, has been brought back under control. Galaxy 15 – as had been hoped – rebooted itself automatically as it was designed to do once it had lost all its battery power. During the preceding seven months the craft had threatened dozens of other satellites as it drifted through space.
Further diagnostic testing will now take place along with a refresh of key software, and Intelsat say they hope to relocate Galaxy 15 to a safe orbital position once they stem the drift which at the moment continues.
Galaxy 15 is said to be thermally protected and that its solar panels and batteries are back working nominally. “It no longer presents any threat to neighbouring satellites,” says Intelsat.
Galaxy 15 will have to come through all these tests satisfactorily in order for it to resume a full, normal working life, and there’s much still to be done not least ensuring that the craft’s key function can also be restarted. Intelsat says that the most critical elements of the problems have been completed satisfactorily. However, with a designed life that extends to 2022, there’s plenty of reason for hope.