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  NASA's 'dead' IMAGE satellite found alive

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Author Topic:   NASA's 'dead' IMAGE satellite found alive
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 38780
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-29-2018 08:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott Tilley, an amateur radio astronomer, went searching for the classified (and believed lost) Zuma satellite and instead detected signals from NASA's Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) satellite, which stopped working in 2005.
So what was IMAGE? I did a little Googling and discovered that it had been 'Lost in Space' since December 18, 2005 after just dropping off the grid suddenly. The mission was designed to image the magnetosphere...

NASA considered the spacecraft a total loss due to a design flaw that manifested while the spacecraft was in its extended mission. The NASA failure review did however conclude that it was possible for the spacecraft to be revived by permitting a 'Transponder SSPC reset' after it passed through eclipse in 2007. One must assume that didn't occur in 2007 and they gave up.

NASA has since investigated and as Tilley describes, "all indications so far suggest that this is, in fact, IMAGE."

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38780
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-29-2018 10:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
In mid-January, an amateur astronomer reported they believed they had made contact with a NASA satellite called Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE). IMAGE launched on March 25, 2000, and contact was unexpectedly lost on Dec. 18, 2005.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has acquired time on the Deep Space Network (DSN) to focus on the source and determine whether the signal is indeed IMAGE. This process must take into consideration the vintage nature of the spacecraft, and includes locating appropriate software and commands to potentially operate the mission. We will share more information as it becomes available.

denali414
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Posts: 174
From: Raleigh, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2017

posted 01-29-2018 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is becoming a new industry — software and hardware people that still use/remember the old coding systems for computers. While computing power has moved at light speed faster, these old probes and satellites can't communicate with the new systems. JPL has that problem with Voyager still.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38780
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-31-2018 12:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
The identity of the satellite re-discovered on Jan. 20, 2018, has been confirmed as NASA's IMAGE satellite.

On the afternoon of Jan. 30, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland, successfully collected telemetry data from the satellite. The signal showed that the space craft ID was 166 — the ID for IMAGE.

The NASA team has been able to read some basic housekeeping data from the spacecraft, suggesting that at least the main control system is operational.

Scientists and engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will continue to try to analyze the data from the spacecraft to learn more about the state of the spacecraft. This process will take a week or two to complete as it requires attempting to adapt old software and databases of information to more modern systems.

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