Solar Max Hits DISH, Loral Satellites : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

April 16, 2001

Solar Max Hits DISH, Loral Satellites

Last week's solar storms, in which the sun released powerful flares and waves of charged particles into space and hurled them towards earth, affected a number of satellites. Fortunately, after the dust settled, spacecraft impacted by the events escaped serious problems and continue to operate normally, according to the affected companies.

On Friday, EchoStar confirmed that a satellite at its 119-degree location was temporarily impacted by a solar event Thursday evening. A number of channels were knocked off during a brief interruption of service. Those channels are back up, and EchoStar said it's business as usual for the DISH Network service.

No word was given by an EchoStar spokesperson on the condition of the satellite, though things appeared to be operating normally for the company during the weekend. EchoStar II, IV and VI operate at the 119-degree position. The company wouldn't confirm what satellite was impacted by the solar event.

Meanwhile, Loral Skynet, the commercial satellite arm of Loral Space and Communications, reported that last week's severe solar events impacted its Telstar 4 satellite. Despite the solar anomaly, the satellite continues to operate normally today, the company said.

Loral Skynet emphasized that during the entire operation, control of the satellite was never lost and earth lock was fully maintained during the solar unrest.

The recent solar storms are associated with solar maximum, a peak in solar activity that occurs every 11 years. During this time, the sun spills out charged particles at a higher intensity and frequency. Wire reports suggest that recent solar unrest could continue through the end of today.

-- Martin Thompson (, April 17, 2001

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