Intelsat has said the former zombie satellite Galaxy 15 is again under full control and will return to commercial operation. During a webcast, Tobias Nassif, VP of satellite operations and engineering, said Intelsat has re-established full functionality over Galaxy 15.
The satellite stopped responding to ground controllers when its telemetry and commanding subsystems suffered an anomaly in April, after which the satellite went – as a zombie – adrift in space.
Galaxy 15 is currently positioned at 93 degrees West, where it will undergo additional testing and then be moved to either 133 degrees West or 129 degrees West, depending on demand for services. Intelsat expects to complete testing by January 31.
The phoenix-like resurrection of the satellite started on December 23, when the power from the Galaxy 15 battery completely drained during its loss of earth lock and the Baseband Equipment (BBE) command unit reset, as it was designed to do. Shortly thereafter, Galaxy 15 began accepting commands and Intelsat engineers began receiving telemetry in their satellite operations centre.