Zombie Satellite Loses Mind

Even as you read, a zombie battle rages overhead. Well, that’s what the media is calling it. Poor little Galaxy 15, a communications satellite for Intelsat that carried the Syfy channel signal, among other things, lost its mind … or maybe found it … when a solar flare supposedly zapped it. Now it’s being called a “zombiesat” and it is out of control, supposedly orbiting purposelessly, just waiting to find another satellite with a signal it can steal.

According to CelesTrak, which collects data for the Center for Space Standards and Innovation, there are over 13,000 satellites up there, which doesn’t count the 20,500 that have decayed since 1957. Most of those still orbiting, around 10,000, are classified as debris. It’s a real graveyard up there. And we are talking about dead stuff whizzing around at tens of thousands of kilometers an hour.

Attempts to contact Galaxy 15  have been unsuccessful and it’s headed for an SES satellite that transmits to Luxembourg. Will it steal the signal? Will it continue to orbit “mindlessly,” scrambling the messages of other satellites?  Where can a rogue satellite go to escape detection and intervention? The drama will continue to unfold. As above, so below. Look to the heavens for your answers!

—Erin Orison, DEAD LOVE/The Daily Slice