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Space

Ask Team Trying To Return 36-Year-Old Spacecraft From Space About Their Project 53

Posted by samzenpus
from the coming-back dept.
samzenpus (5) writes "Last week we told you about a group that was trying to recover the 36-year-old ISEE-3 spacecraft from deep space. Led by CEO and founder of Skycorp, Dennis Wingo, and astrobiologist and editor of NASA Watch, Keith Cowing, the crowdfunded project plans to steer ISEE-3 back into an Earth orbit and return it to scientific operations. Once in orbit, they hope to turn the spacecraft and its instruments over to the public by creating an app that allows anyone access to its data. The team has agreed to take some time from lassoing spacecraft from deep space in order to answer your questions. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post. Hopefully the plan goes better than xkcd predicts."
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Ask Team Trying To Return 36-Year-Old Spacecraft From Space About Their Project

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  • Should be Skynet

  • Public Data Access (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jshahbazi (3493817) on Monday April 28, 2014 @10:57AM (#46860011) Homepage
    If the project is successful, how do you envision the public being able to access the data from the satellite? Will it be a stream of everything, or will only selected instruments be available?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      If the project is successful, how do you envision the public being able to access the data from the satellite? Will it be a stream of everything, or will only selected instruments be available?

      Hi, this is Dennis Wingo, Co project manager of the project.

      We envision the public being able to access the data through a web portal that will take the data in live and process it and show it to screens. IF there is enough interest and volunteers it will also be made available as a app. There is a great ham site (www.solarcycle24.com) that takes input from other satellites for the amateur radio community and we will do the same.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So, if I understand this correctly, your group plans to bring ISEE-3 into LEO by using the satellite's own propulsion system to propel it into a stable orbit around the Earth via a trip around the Moon. What benefits does this offer to NASA, or to the scientific community at large, that isn't already offered by one or more existing satellites in LEO? I know you mentioned use as a "space weather" detector, but don't we have satellites up there already that can perform such a function?

    • by NotDrWho (3543773)

      Second this question. If this is just duplicating information we already have, then it's nothing but a novelty project (and a job program for Skycorp).

    • What benefits does this offer to NASA, or to the scientific community at large, that isn't already offered by one or more existing satellites in LEO?

      TFA has something to say about this:

      But NASA does feel that the data that ISEE-3 could generate would have real value and that a crowd funded effort such as ours has real value as an education and public outreach activity.

      This is like any NASA mission.. the person asking "what is the point of" is entitled to make their own value judgment regarding what is or is not worthwhile use of funds.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2014 @11:20AM (#46860233)

    Another question I have is this: How do you know this project will even work? The XKCD comic claims that NASA sent a shutdown signal to ISEE-3 in 1998, which apparently was either not received or not properly executed. Is there any way of telling whether or not the control communications to the satellite even work anymore? What happens to the crowdfunding money if it is discovered that the comms equipment doesn't work, or that it's simply not feasible to build a system to emulate the original hardware controls in time to bring the satellite into Earth orbit?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Hi this is Dennis Wingo, co project manager of the ISEE-3 Reboot project.

      We already know that the spacecraft's two transponders are transmitting. This gives a very good indication that the power budget is positive. We also know, by looking just at the received signal that the spacecraft is still spinning at about the same rate as in 1999. We also know that the last time the spacecraft was contacted, that the vast majority of the instruments were still functional. The spacecraft is in a very stable orbit

  • by mythosaz (572040) on Monday April 28, 2014 @11:29AM (#46860309)

    I already saw 16 episodes of the 20 part documentary on the subject.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt00... [imdb.com]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org] :)

  • What exactly is it doing?

  • What is the value? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bengoerz (581218) on Monday April 28, 2014 @12:44PM (#46861053)
    Other than the sentimentality, what are the real benefit of bringing ISEE-3 home? If the benefit is the data, what is the evidence that the "data that ISEE-3 could generate would have real value"? If the benefit is educational, which institutions have committed to taking part?
  • I'm sorry that the space around their project contains a 36 year old spacecraft; it must be hard to set up furniture under such circumstances.
  • I know a lot of us waste large portions of our workday posting to Slashdot... but aren't you folks on kind of a time crunch?

  • OK, level with us. What do really you think the odds are of you succeeding in getting this craft into stable earth orbit?

  • by deadweight (681827) on Monday April 28, 2014 @03:04PM (#46862407)
    What is it with all the negativity? This sounds like about the coolest hack ever. Who cares if the data is duplicated elsewhere? Are any of you selling your mother's kidneys to fund this or robbing banks?
  • As someone who has been following this for a few weeks now I think this is a great idea. What can be learned by capturing this machine? By that I mean what can we use here to get young kids interested in space again? When I was a kid, we had an amazing show with the comet slamming into Jupiter, I look at that as the time I got interested in space. If we can capture this machine, is there a way it can be used as a teaching tool for younger kids?
  • by slincolne (1111555) on Monday April 28, 2014 @04:32PM (#46863253)
    It sounds very interesting - the kind of stuff that National Geographic would cover off.

    Have you contacted any media organisations about selling the rights to film and publish this?

    It might be a good way to get further funding for this work.

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