For 12 years, a NASA satellite called IMAGE was lost in distance.
NASA scientists hadn’t heard in the satellite since 2005, once it suddenly stopped responding.
But earlier this month, an amateur astronomer happened to be hunting for traces of this D***h Zuma mission started by SpaceX if he stumbled upon something entirely different: signals from a satellite that wasn’t accounted for.
Scott Tilley, who’s based in Canada, then paired the sign to some NASA spacecraft and theorizedthat it had been the long-lost satellite IMAGE. He tweeted and uttered about his findings. He also reached out to the main investigator who was responsible for the satellite mission, according to Tilley’s website.
NASA set off to research and trained its Deep Space Network, a constellation of radio telescopes used to convey with distance missions, to look for the satellite. The sign was confirmed by five antennas and matched the identity of with the satellite.
And the space agency had some surprising news.
“The NASA team has been in a position to read a few simple housekeeping data in the spacecraft, suggesting that the most important management process is operational,” according to NASA’s announcement.
IMAGE started in March 25, 2000. It was developed to study the planet’s magnetosphere — the field that protects the Earth. It had been hailed as a success, helping to map out that the planet’s magnetic field in detail and led to 37 unique scientific customs, according its final record. It successfully completed its initial scheduled mission — initially slated for two years — and was in its extended phase once the satellite stopped regular contact on December 18, 2005.
NASA attempted to recover control of the satellite, but it finally concluded that the spacecraft likely suffered an function that disabled its power supply and was not able to recuperate. The mission was declared over in 2007.
After IMAGE was lost, its original software and databases required to operate the satellite was decommissioned. NASA said that it will try to adapt the software to its contemporary systems.
“Scientists and engineers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will continue to attempt and analyze the data in the spacecraft to find out more about the state of the spacecraft,” NASA said.
He informed that the CBC: “As someone who’s loved space since being a kid, I’m happy to have contributed something positive”