Thronateeska Heritage Center reported on October 22 that Intelsat, a satellite command center, had lost control of a fairly young satellite. Investigation is still underway to determine what caused the satellite to cease responding to commands in the first place, although Orbital Sciences Corp. of Virginia now claims an intense solar storm may be to blame.
|Image credit: SPACE.com.|
Intelsat has reported the battery on Galaxy 15 has finally “died,” though, and the satellite has reset its operating system and restored communications as its designers had hoped would happen when they originally lost control of the satellite last April.
The satellite, launched October 13, 2005 from an European Ariane rocket, was originally intended to serve until 2020. Needless to say, the recent “rebellion” of the satellite and curious technical behavior it exhibited are causing scientists to re-assess its shelf life and determine what course of action needs to be pursued. Galaxy 15 is currently on a course to rendezvous with an Intelsat orbital location to have its payload assessed and to determine if it is capable of being restored to full functionality.