Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Zombies in Space

The Damned Thing just won't die.

The Galaxy 15 C-band telecommunications satellite went off orbit and out of control in April. It can't be repositioned, it can't be turned off, and interference from it is disrupting signals from other satellites.

Admittedly, the reason this is in the news at all is likely because someone nicknamed it a "zombie satellite." To my mind that is somewhat of a misnomer, as a true zombie satellite would not only kill other satellites but turn them into other zombie satellites as well. The glitch would go viral. Sadly, all the Damned Thing does is temporarily disrupt signals.

Still, scientists predicted it would die in August, after all its power was drained (the different orbit means its solar panels are not pointed directly at the sun anymore). What they didn't count on was that the satellite is able to save energy during periods it is in the Earth's shadow. No one expected that to happen. So it's still alive, still kicking, still spreading its zombie goodness throughout the solar system.

They have had to change the orbits of 6 satellites so far to avoid the zombie, and expect to have to change the orbits of 7 more between now and December. By then, the experts say it should die.

I'm hoping otherwise.

10 comments:

ArtSparker said...

Heh, spoken like a creative.

Nancy Dancehall said...

You've got it all wrong. It isn't interfering with other signals -- it's making them send signals that eat our brainwaves.

It's true. Look around and tell me it isn't.

Poet in Residence said...

Looks like another case of LGM pirates. What do they want this time?

Laurita said...

You know, this has the makings of a great story.

Maggie said...

If you think about it, the fact that the undead have now made it into space is a sign of the Apocalypse. Look it up. Zombie satellites - we're all doomed I tell you doomed!

slommler said...

I kind of like the term "Zombie" being tagged to it. Kind of goes with the season...and creepy as well!
Hugs
SueAnn

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

It isn't going to die.

I bet you a coke. That one's going to go on and on for a long time!

;D

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Margaret said...

A book.
Title: Zombies in Space
Subtitle Hook: The Damned Thing just won't die.

Margaret said...

P.S.
Of Cornify: The Damned Thing just won't die.

Clowncar said...

Yep, Art. Creative types wanna wish the space zombie a long and happy life.

What, Nance? Zombies eating our brains? Just because there's an amendment on the ballot giving fetuses the right to vote?

PiR, pirates want what they always want. Booty! Avast, matey.

Laurita, I am already on it. Quite a lode of material there.

Maggie, I like doom. I trust doom. Bring it on, zombies.

Hadn't noticed, but you are right, Sue. It's a very Halloween-y post, eh?

The odd bit, Scarlett, is that no one expected the Damned Thing to conserve energy during its time in shadow. Almost as if it had made the decision itself (insert creepy music here). So perhaps you're right. Perhaps it'll learn to repoint its solar panels itself, and thus live forever.

Margaret, it actually is worming its way into the next novel - the idea of things turning into the Wild West up there. Pirate satellites, backyard rocketry, viruses and worms in space, a glut of space debris, terrorist space mines.

Oh, and I LOVE Cornify. Isn't it cool? Only after 10 or 12 clicks does it reveal it's true Unicornian goodness.