Solar storm disabled Intelsat satellite

Intelsat has announced the loss of control over the Galaxy 15 telecommunications satellite. The onboard equipment of the device responsible for relaying signals to ground consumers is working normally, but it has stopped responding to commands from the MCC. 

Galaxy 15 was launched in 2005. The device is in geostationary orbit at 133° W, and is responsible for customer service in North America. On August 19, Intelsat specialists lost the ability to control the satellite. Most likely, this was due to solar activity. In August, the luminary produced a series of flares and coronal ejections, which led to quite powerful magnetic storms on Earth.

A flash in the Sun. Source: Source: NASA/SDO/AIA.в

According to representatives of Intelsat, despite the fact that Galaxy 15 has stopped responding to commands from Earth, the satellite itself continues to work. At the same time, without instructions from the MCC, it will not be able to hold a given position and will begin to drift in orbit, which may pose a threat to other geostationary spacecraft. Therefore, Intelsat specialists are doing their best to restore contact. It is worth noting that the company has a replacement for the Galaxy 15 in the form of a new Galaxy 30 satellite. It will be launched in October on a Falcon 9 rocket.

This is not the first such case with the Galaxy 15. In the spring of 2010, the device stopped responding to commands and began to shift from its geostationary position. However, by the end of the year, the engineers still managed to regain control of the device and return it to its previous position. 

Apparently, several more similar incidents are waiting for us in the coming years. The sun has entered a new cycle of activity and is producing more and more flares, which increases the threat to space technology.

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