ISEE-3: July 2014 Archives

ISEE-3: Next Steps

Announcing the ISEE-3 Interplanetary Citizen Science Mission

"After a successful reawakening the venerable ISEE-3 spacecraft is about to begin the first interplanetary citizen science mission. We will be beginning the "ISEE-3 Interplanetary Citizen Science Mission" on 10 August 2014 as the spacecraft flies by the Moon. We have a functional space craft that can do science and is already returning new data. All of our original citizen science objectives remain unchanged and are ready for implementation. In fact, we'll be announcing some new partnerships shortly that will serve to turbocharge our efforts in this regard."

Lost and Found in Space: Rebooting ISEE-3: Space for All, op ed, Keith Cowing, New York Times

"NASA likes to say that "space is hard," but to make itself relevant to the people whose taxes fund it, it must get outside its comfort zone. To its credit, NASA saw the potential of our project to reach beyond the traditional audience. The interactions via social media with our supporters have borne this out. Imagine what feats of exploration might be possible if an empowered and engaged citizenry realized that exploring space is really something anyone can do."

ISEE-3 Is In Borg Mode

We Are Borg: Crowdsourced ISEE-3 Engineering and the Collective Mind of the Internet, Dennis Wingo

"In the science fiction universe of Star Trek, set several hundred years in the future, when we are a spacefaring civilization, humanity encounters a species called the Borg. The Borg are a conglomeration of species who are assimilated into a collective mind numbering in the hundreds of billions. All of the Borg are connected to each other through a communications link that allows each of them to share each others thoughts, though in a manner that erases individuality. This week, with the call that our ISEE-3 reboot team put out to the internet for help in debugging our propulsion system problem, I have come to realize that a significant portion of humanity has reached a Borg like state, one where the internet has become a collective mind for communications and knowledge sharing. We still have our individuality, we can still decouple at will from the collective mind, but in a way that few philosophers or technologists have envisioned, we are connected in a way never before thought possible. The implications are staggering, and here is how our little ISEE-3 project is an example of the operation of the collective mind."

ISEE-3 Status Report 15 July 2014

"Our next window at Arecibo is tomorrow (Wednesday) between 12:19 pm and 3:03 pm ET. During that opportunity we intend to attempt a deep space plumbing repair on board ISEE-3 and then fire its engines."

ISEE-3 Reboot Project Seeks Your Help To Solve a Technical Problem

"We have a crowdsourced research project for our ISEE-3 Reboot fans. One of our volunteers, Karl-Max Wagner from Germany has an interesting idea. Did the Nitrogen pressurizing gas dissolve in the Hydrazine in the tanks?"

Update: We spent all day yesterday with space propulsion experts. We have identified a series of options including hydrazine tank heating and a long series of pulse attempts to (possibly) clear the lines. We have most certainly not given up on this spacecraft yet. It is doing science and will continue to do so for years to come.

ISEE-3 Update

ISEE-3 Status Report 9 July 2014 (afternoon)

"Our troubleshooting today eliminated some suspected causes of propulsion system problems. We do not think any of the valves are malfuctioning. Right now we think there is a chance that the Nitrogen used as a pressurant for the monopropellant Hydrazine propulsion system may have been depleted. That said, we still have a number of troubleshooting options yet to be explored. We have a DSN pass scheduled for Friday that will allow us to recalibrate our location information and trajectory plans for ISEE-3. Even if the L-1 halo orbit is no longer an option, we do have plans to use ISEE-3 for science in other locations within the inner solar system after the lunar flyby on 10 August."

- ISEE-3 Current Location 21 June 2014
- Worldwide Audience for ISEE-3 TCM Burn
- Top 12 visiting countries for #ISEE3 Telemetry mirror server of today @ISEE3Reboot 1/2
- Rest of the visiting countries for #ISEE3 Telemetry mirror server of today @ISEE3Reboot 2/2

Jump Starting ISEE-3

In Effort to Shift Abandoned NASA Craft, a Hiccup (or Burp), New York Times

"The first part of the maneuver succeeded, a milestone in an effort to resurrect a zombie spacecraft that NASA abandoned 17 years ago. But then -- perhaps to be expected during work on a jalopy -- problems cropped up, and the thrusters failed to fire properly. Another attempt to complete the course correction will be made Wednesday. "I feel like it is taunting us sometimes," Keith Cowing, one of the leaders of the effort, said of the 36-year-old spacecraft, the International Sun-Earth Explorer-3, or ISEE-3. It is not NASA commanding the spacecraft now, but a group of civilians working in a former McDonald's in California taking advantage of technological goodies of the 21st century, including Skype, Twitter, laptop computers and crowdsourcing."

More stories

ISEE-3 Status Report 7 July 2014 (evening)

"If all goes according to plan on Tuesday, 8 July, we will conduct the Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM). This will require a much longer firing of the spacecraft's thrusters.  Our window at Arecibo opens at 12:42 pm EDT and extends until 3:29 pm EDT. If the burn is a success we will follow up with another ranging session using the DSN to get an exact measure of the spacecraft's position, trajectory, and speed.  After that we should be good to go for our lunar flyby on 10 August. After the last technical tag-up for today it looks like TCM will be 432-435 pulses fired in 7 segments with a total delta V of approximately 7 m/sec."

Keith's update: We managed to conduct the first segment but encountered problems with the second and halted the remainder of segment firings. We're looking at data and formulating a plan for tomorrow.

Keith's 2 July note: We just fired the engines on ISEE-3 to perform a spin-up burn. Preliminary results confirm the burn and a change in rotation. The spin rate was originally 19.16 rpm. It is now at 19.76 rpm. The original mission specifications call for 19.75 +/- 0.2 rpm - so we are exactly where we wanted to be.

Keith's 7 July update: We are planning to try and do our Trajectory Correction Maneuver burn tomorrow. Arecibo window extends from 12:42pm - 3:29pm EDT. Follow along at @ISEE3Reboot

- ISEE-3 Reboot Project Mission Control Team (photo)
- Jóvenes por el Espacio Grupo México Listens to ISEE-3
- ISEE-3 Current Location 3 July 2014

Notes on the ISEE-3 Vector Helium Magnetometer From the Original Principal Investigator

"Ed Smith, Original Original Principal Investigator on ISEE-3 Vector Helium Magnetometer: The effort to recapture the ISEE-/ ICE spacecraft has just achieved a notable scientific success. Data recovered from the spacecraft very recently show that the magnetometer is not only operating well but has observed a large rapid change in the Interplanetary Magnetic Field/IMF."

Keith's note: We were able to use the B transmitter today for the first time but were unable to complete the various steps needed to command ISEE-3 to fire its engines. There is a chance of a window at Arecibo tomorrow. Meanwhile, the first scientific measurements by ISEE-3 in decades have been obtained. Recent magnetometer data from ISEE-3 shows clear evidence of a recent solar event. We will be releasing more information on these observations very soon.


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This page is an archive of entries in the ISEE-3 category from July 2014.

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