The Galaxy 15 Satellite, which originally ran several television channels is now approaching an area of sky where it may create problems for Luxemborg. And they’re only the first. The satellite underwent a mysterious transformation in the past few weeks that has perplexed quite a few satellite engineers. No one knows for sure why it’s behaving the way it is, but they do know the erratic transmission behaviors of the Galaxy 15 could cause big problems for the television industry.
As it threatens to knock out communications with other satellites, let’s take a look at exactly how things got to the strange (and unlikely) place they are today. Galaxy 15 was first knocked out after a small solar storm on April 5th broke out and some of the internal circuitry was fried. Of course that isn’t the whole story. After the satellite became unresponsive, those monitoring it from the ground expected it to simply shut down, but instead it kept going. “Its C-band telecommunications payload functions,” said one tracker, “But it’s not where it’s supposed to be. It was traveling in an expected orbital slot, 133 degrees west longitude and 36,000 kilometers up from the equator. It’s still functioning, but it isn’t going where it’s supposed to go.”
And some are speculating that the solar storm may not have actually been what caused the sudden unprecedented behavior in the satellite. Many have said the storm wasn’t even that big and couldn’t have possibly destroyed any Earth satellites. The only thing that can really be confirmed, according to skeptics of the storm theory, is that ground control lost contact with it. Some are even suggesting the system could have been hijacked by a military system that could have taken control of Galaxy 15. It is, after all operating with full capacity and at full power without any input from the ground. The satellite that once carried the Syfy channel is now acting as though it were a plot device in one of its own programs. And as it moves toward other satellites it could soon disrupt television distribution with no way to stop it. And with the ending of the space program, there is no agency in place to put a person into space to fix the satellite. Of course there are ways to shoot the satellite out of sky, such as missiles, the interception and destruction of a satellite from Earth has been demonstrated even recently when on January 28 of 2009 the US used a missile to shoot down a rogue spy satellite. And then the US did it again when one of China’s spy satellites entered US territory. And no doubt a television satellite would be far easier to shoot down than a spy satellite designed to not be detected. Since the incident there has been an intense increase in interest for the Galaxy 15. Google suggests there has been a 10,300% increase in the number of searches for the phrase Galaxy 15.