SATELLITE out of control, unknown cause : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I heard this on local radio in Chicago, this morning. However, can't find anything posted on the internet news. An "unconfirmed" possibility is that the satellite may have been hit by an asteroid. They state that the cause of the problem is unknown, but to expect potential problems with cell phones and pagers.

-- mabel (, March 12, 1999


OH MY GOD an asteroid!!!! Do you have any idea what an asteroid is? If an asteroid hit a satellite we have only a few more moments to live. Get your terms right please. Maybe a meteoroid could hit a satellite but not an asteroid. An asteroid is a small minor planet with an orbit far from our orbit.

-- asteroid (, March 12, 1999.

Well whatever it is, now they have just announced it is no longer a problem. This is an hour after I heard the first report. Tres strange.

-- mabel (, March 12, 1999.

Heard the same story on CNN this morning. They said they lost some news links. Wonder if this has anything to do with the British Satellite that hackers got control of? Makes one wonder anyway.

-- Watcher (, March 12, 1999.

Watcher, CNN would not be using the same birds as the military, though sometimes it happens the other way around. That is, the military can use unencrypted birds. No connection here. BTW, I heard that the story about the "kidnap" was false. It sounded too strange that the operations couldn't track down the culprit.

-- Maria (, March 12, 1999.

asteroid... do you have any idea what "dark matter" is? I don't even want to think about an asteroid getting close to the earth right now but I heard that just such an even happened very, very recently. I think it was less than a month ago.

Mike ================================================================

-- Michael Taylor (, March 12, 1999.

I should have said "close" was still pretty darn far away.

Mike ===================================================================

-- Michael Taylor (, March 12, 1999.

This in the Washington Post

GE Satellite Spins Out of Control Friday, March 12, 1999; 9:54 a.m. EST

NEW YORK (AP) -- A GE satellite spun out of control today, causing widespread disruption of service to news organizations today before engineers were able to regain communication.

The GE-3 satellite provides communications service for North America for The Associated Press, Dow Jones, CNN and Fox Network. In addition, the AP uses the satellite to relay some services to Asia and Latin America.

The problem began at 4 a.m., said Monica Morgan, spokeswoman for GE Americom Communications in Princeton, N.J., where the satellite is based.

``We lost one of the gyros on the satellite, and it started rolling and failed,'' said Fred Cain of GE Americom. ``We were able to re- acquire the satellite and are bringing it back on.''

AP services were fully restored shortly before 9 a.m. Cain said it would take 1 1/2 hours to fully restore other customers. He said GE was trying to determine what caused the problem.

The AP turned to its Web sites to provide its customers with Internet access to their AP services. AP has a backup satellite and was ready to switch its services if necessary, said John Reid, AP vice president for technology.

The satellite was put in service in September 1997 and has an expected life of 12 to 15 years.

AP uses several other satellites to deliver its services, and they were not affected by the outage.

-- Looker (, March 12, 1999.

Mike --Indeed asteroids do sometimes come close to the earth. The asteroid Hermes came within 480,000 miles of earth in 1937. This is the closest approach of an asteroid to earth thus far. My pont is if one comes close enough to wipe out a satellite then earth will be wiped out as well. A collision with an asteroid could split the earth into a zillion pieces. If an asteroid approaches earth just tuck your head between your legs and kiss your butt goodbye. At least you wouldnt have to go through Y2K.

-- asteroid (, March 12, 1999.

Word is we've been getting blasted by the sun real good the last few days. This is probably what wacked the satellite:

-- @ (@@@.@), March 12, 1999.

There are asteroids in earth crossing orbits, not all are in the Asteroid belt. Small asteroids the size of a mountain or several football fields pass near earth all the time. One could hit a satellite and still miss the Earth, just luck of the relative orbital position.

-- (, March 12, 1999.

The report says the satellite controllers said it was an attitude control gyro failure. Since they have the system for monitoring what is and isn't working on the bird, let's tale their word for now.

Even now, the Hubble Space Telescope is running on the last of its gyros. At one time it had three working gyros and it's had them fail one by one and the controllers can switch to the next one still running.

Same situation for the communications satellites. One gyro fails and you switch to the first then second back-up. Maybe someday there will be a gyro that won't wear out. Until then we can test them for hundreds of hours before being put into a satellite, but we can't build one that will last forever.

WW: Who's built test systems for aircraft and spacecraft gyros and tested lots of them to test his test stand.

-- Wildweasel (, March 12, 1999.

that's amazing I mean that kind of thing doesn't happen every other day hi I'm 11 and i want to be an astronaut when I grow I think that is so cool

-- Tawny Lynn Heckman (, July 28, 1999.

that's amazing I mean that kind of thing doesn't happen every other day hi I'm 11 and i want to be an astronaut when I grow I think that is so cool I just looked it up so I know it is alittle late to be answering bye~bye:)

-- Tawny Lynn Heckman (, July 28, 1999.

hey, um, Wildweasel, um, the report, um, that you referred to, um, was from, um, "GE Satellite Spins Out of Control Friday, March 12, 1999; 9:54 a.m. EST"

Um, Wildweasel, isn't it, um, JULY 28, 1999 today?????

-- J (, July 28, 1999.

Hi there, Tawny! Hhhmm, interesting name. Hope you're not some clever lioness of a heckler troll.

To extend the benefit of the doubt, which is generous these days considering the avalance of smelly trolls tumbling out of their dank holes under bridges, may you enjoy and prosper on this Forum! You may be our youngest poster :-) Uh, in actual earth years, that is. You're far older intellectually and emotionally than some of our pestering brainless squawking trolls.

Good luck with your astronaut ambitions! Here you can fly the stratospheric skies of gloom, doom, hope, vision, and practical preparation for Y2K and other disruptions to our current convenient easy Just In Time computerized automated lifestyle.


3~0 3~0 3~0 3~0 3~0 3~0 3~0 3~0 3~0 3~0 3~0 3~0

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, July 28, 1999.

Cascadian friends -

We certainly need a Billy Goat Gruff or two to deal with all these trolls. Gad, what a smell!

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), July 28, 1999.

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