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ISEE-3 Reboot Project Technical Update

By Keith Cowing
May 1, 2014
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ISEE-3 Reboot Project Technical Update 1 May 2014, Dennis Wingo
“Today is May 1, 2014, the 17th day after we started our RocketHub project to raise $125,000 to allow us to attempt to contact, evaluate, and command the International Sun-Earth Explorer-3 (ISEE-3) spacecraft to fire its engines in such a way as to return it to Earth orbit after a swing-by of the Moon on August 10 2014. Today I want to discuss some of the technical issues and hurdles that we face in bring this spacecraft back into a stable Earth orbit. I am leaving out the experiments for the time being as we have to focus on the engineering required before we get to that part.”

Private Team Wants to Bring 36-Year-Old NASA Probe Out of Retirement,
“The golden years may be about to end for a 1970s-era NASA spacecraft. A crowdfunded team of engineers, programmers and citizen scientists aims to bring out of retirement the International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 probe (ISEE-3), which launched in 1978 and ceased science operations in 1997. In the coming months, the group intends to move ISEE-3 from its orbit around the sun to a stable spot close to Earth. The probe could stay there and study space weather, or it could jump off to chase down a comet, as it did several other times during its working life.”
Space buffs hope to reawaken old NASA probe, Orlando Sentinel
“A group of garage engineers — ranging from a 23-year-old former UCF student to an 81-year-old ex-NASA official — wants to get the bookshelf-sized probe working again when it whips by the moon this summer. The aim is to restart its mission of monitoring space weather and — if the group can pull it off — send it to study an incoming comet in 2018. “This is something that has never been done before,” said Robert Farquhar, 81, a former NASA manager who worked with the spacecraft in the 1980s.”
Today, A Spacecraft From 1978 Took Our Lunch Money, (16 April) io9
“A spacecraft from 1978 resurfaced, today — and then it took our lunch money. This is not a story about time travel, though. It’s a story about the internet, money, space, and, of course, lunch. And it’s all true. The story begins in 1978, when we launched a probe deep into space. Almost twenty years later, that probe was supposed to shut down. But it didn’t. It kept right on going and, this summer, it comes back into Earth’s range, ready to communicate with us again. There’s just one problem: The old tech that was built to talk with the probe had been replaced years ago. We can’t talk to the spacecraft unless we rebuild that gear, and rebuilding it is outside of NASA’s budget.”

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.