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ISEE Phone Home
May 22, 2014 7:06 AM   Subscribe

A geek.com article reports that a crowdfunded project to reestablish contact with the venerable ISEE-3 probe and attempt to park it in orbit for a working retirement has met its goals and will go forward.

Amateur radio operators successfully received communications from the probe in March.

Make's article has more on the crowdfunding effort, and the team behind it (formerly of the Lunar Orbiter Recovery Project). NASA is onboard with the effort, says Wired. The "Motherboard" column at Vice provides a bit more background.

A NPR story from March related the roguish tale of how the probe was previously repurposed.

Outreach and organization is being done by the newly formed non-profit group, the Space College. Efforts are now underway to meet a stretch goal to rent time on NASA's Deep Space Network.

(Previously on MeFi.)
posted by snuffleupagus (10 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: post this again when the funding thing is over. -- jessamyn



 
(oops. Here's the missing Wired link.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:07 AM on May 22


Looking at the front page of Metafilter, we're both living in the future (this post) and the dark ages (most political posts).
posted by blue_beetle at 7:20 AM on May 22


It's the dusk ages.
posted by spicynuts at 7:30 AM on May 22 [3 favorites]


This project is super cool and also kind of crazy. It's like if Kerbal Space Program were real. I also love that there was no way NASA could really stop a rogue group from "stealing" the satellite. These early systems had no security, the assumption was if you knew enough to send it commands you probably had the right to do so.

Check out the retrofuture graphic style of that orbit picture.

A project of similar spirit I've been following is SkyCube, a cubesat that was launched with $116,000 of Kickstarter money. One of 33 tiny satellites launched by NanoRacks. Tim DeBenedictus wrote a great article in the November 2013 Sky & Telescope about how they built it, MeMail me if you want to borrow my copy of it. Basically for $100,000 you can launch 1.3kg in to low Earth orbit (via the ISS), and a simple amateur satellite only costs $1000 or so in parts.

The problem is communication; there's no network for amateur use in orbit. And for a small/cheap satellite like this you can't reliably point the antenna at a ground station. Sadly SkyCube hasn't worked out well. It took them a long time to find it in space, and now it seems like the solar panels didn't deploy right.
posted by Nelson at 7:30 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]


It must be getting really crowded up there.
posted by spicynuts at 7:47 AM on May 22


It must be getting really crowded up there.

Yep.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:07 AM on May 22


It must be getting really crowded up there.

Yup. Pretty crowded.
posted by Floydd at 8:07 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]


Cool. NASA now has a written agreement with Skycorp Inc. (I guess they're working with Space College), and "NASA has shared technical data with these citizen scientists to help them communicate with and return data from ISEE-3."
posted by exogenous at 8:08 AM on May 22


Looking at the front page of Metafilter, we're both living in the future (this post) and the dark ages (most political posts).

To quote David Byrne, "Same as it ever was, same as it ever was..."
posted by aught at 8:11 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]


I thought that was a Charles Dickens quote? Best of time, worst of times.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:56 AM on May 22


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