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National (May 12) – On April 5, 2010, Intelsat, a communications company, lost control over its Galaxy 15 satellite that provides unnamed cable companies with television programming. A second satellite, AMC 11, could be impacted as Galaxy 15 heads in its direction. Both satellites run on the same frequency.
SES World Skies announced there could be “some interference” but refused to name the companies that may be affected. Typically, satellites shut down when they malfunction, however, Galaxy 15 continues to transmit television signals.
Communication satellites like Galaxy 15 and AMC 11 orbit in what is called the geobelt. Adrift, they have the potential to cause havoc. Technicians are working on solutions to the potential May 23 interruption of American television programming. No clear solution has been decided upon, yet they may try to shift the AMC 11 approximately 60 miles out of harms way.
Suggestions have been made that companies on the ground may be able to do some reprogramming of their own to avoid disruption for millions of American television viewers. At the moment, a direct impact of the two satellites is not anticipated.