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The Associated Press May 11, 2010, 11:55AM ET

Drifting satellite threatens US cable programming

Two of the world's largest satellite companies say they're scrambling to keep an out-of-control communications satellite from drifting into another's orbit and cutting programming to U.S. cable networks.

Intelsat Corporation says it lost the ability to control the Galaxy 15 satellite last month. A solar storm may have been the cause. Galaxy 15 is still receiving and transmitting television signals, meaning it could interfere with another satellite if it drifts close enough.

The SES World Skies company says it's considering a variety of ways to protect its AMC 11 satellite, including a carefully timed shift in orbit. It says it is optimistic that it can prevent interference, which would begin around May 23, based on current projections.

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