Originally Posted by Rutgerskid
What would happen to the entire satellite network after 15 years of neglect? Just curious if anyone has any ideas on this.
I'm pretty sure I've explained this in a past posting.
In any event, the geo-synchronous birds would ultimately drift to the nearest gravity well, of which there are two. Even if the birds were not affected by the power outage (we have no idea how far away from the earth the effect was), they need communication with ground control, which feeds commands to the birds to do station keeping. The life of a bird is not the electronics, but the station keeping fuel. If the birds were powered down, the odds are pretty damn good that once power was returned, ground control could find the bird and get it to move back into its orbital slot. That would shorten the life because of the fuel used. Even if the power didn't go out, the electronics should still be good, as none of the transponders would be powered up, as nothing was being sent to them.
As for lower earth satellites, like the GPS birds, they probably would have been shut down, as they were probably within the effect field. So, unless their orbits decayed in the 15 years, they would still be orbiting. Would they be effective upon power returning, or if they never lost power.... nope. There is a lot of technology involved with keeping those birds accurate.
The space station would probably have burned up due to orbit decay.
So, in a nutshell, they would all be useless.