Out of orbit, out of reruns
“Nothin’ could be finer
than to be in a recliner . . .”
It was a little less than three years ago that the world dodged a calamity of almost unimaginable proportions.
Just when you thought there were certain things you could always depend on, came word that a communications satellite had drifted out of control and might interfere with cable television programming across the United States.
An Associated Press story said that communications company Intelsat lost control of its Galaxy 15 satellite on April 5, 2010. Galaxy 15 was reported to be headed toward the path of another satellite called AMC 11. Its owner, SES World Skies, said the two satellites operated on the same frequency and their paths would overlap around May 23 of that year.
“That fact means that there is likely to be some kind of interference,” SES World Skies told The Associated Press.
The satellite owners would not be more specific about what channels might be interrupted. That reluctance led to desperate speculation.
What if the May 23 edition of “Bridezilla” was interrupted? Who would teach recently affianced young ladies how not to behave before a wedding? Who would give us the daily reassurance that maybe, just maybe, our in-laws are not so bad?
And, of course, all residents of Hawaii readily identify with those Alaskan truckers who try to deliver the goods before the roadway melts. When not surfing, we are all “Ice Road Truckers” at heart. It would be a serious blow to TV choices in the middle of the Pacific if an episode or two of suicide by 16-wheeler was lost.
Luckily, scientists were able to maneuver AMC 11 slightly out of the shared path with Galaxy 15 and there was no reported interference with any shows.
But, my goodness, what if we had actually lost a couple of hundred channels? Golly, then we’d be down to . . . a couple of hundred channels.
(A version of this editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News.)
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.