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I think if the planet slows then the satellites would tend to keep going due to angular momentum. We would find their position drifting toward the east. We would need to do some calculations to determine how much slowing would be detected by how much displacement. On second thought these things have jets that could be used to correct for this slowing. If this were done then one of two things can be expected in the long run:

  1. not enough height to sustain orbit or they run out of correction fuel and
  2. begin to drift east

I think all satellites could be affected. TV satellites antennas would from time to time need to be adjusted as these drift off. Something to be aware of and keep an eye on.

I just got wind of this today from a friend who read it in a boating magazine. According to the government, on August 21, 1999 ALL of the GPS satellites will be switched off for at least 6 minutes or more as they are reset and tested. Something about being designed for a "20 year cycle" and they need to be reprogrammed for Y2K compliance. Sounds fishy to me.

I know the GPS's have an accurate clock that supposedly is not kept up to date by use of Leap seconds as the commercial Atomic time is.

Offered by Mike.

                      U.S. NAVAL OBSERVATORY
                   WASHINGTON, D.C.  20392-5420

                          August 11, 1999
                                                                         No. 65


                        NO UTC TIME STEP

 1.  The International Earth Rotation Service (IERS) has announced 
     that there  will not be a time step occurring at the end of 
     December, 1999.

 2.  The difference between UTC and International Atomic Time (TAI) 
     will remain:

                    TAI-UTC= +32s until further notice.

                         DENNIS D. McCARTHY
                         Directorate of Time