|Image credit: SPACE.com|
The solar-powered satellite has surpassed its designers’ expectations, however, by actually conserving its own power supplies when it senses a drop in the sunlight it receives. According to Intelsat, it is “continuing to pose headaches” because not only is it not responding to commands, but it is also still transmitting. It has already caused satellite AMC-11 to have to perform evasive maneuvers to avoid having its own signal highjacked by the powerful C-band transmission of Galaxy 15. If it does interfere with the signals of other satellites, it has the power to disturb the transmissions of “HDTV programming for NBC, Discovery, Scripps, Comcast, MTV and iNDEMAND networks.” According to Thronateeska Heritage Center’s museum guide and staff astronomer Jim Friese, the computers on board are completely normal, yet “the satellite is just smart enough to keep itself alive.” He said a failsafe has already been installed in the next generation of satellites to prevent the same problem from occurring.