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ISEE-3 Satellite Is Back Under Control 56

brindafella writes: "Over the last two days, the (Reboot Project for the International Sun/Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) satellite has successfully commanded ISEE-3 from Earth, using signals transmitted from the Aricebo Observatory. Signals were also received by cooperating dishes: the 21-meter dish located at Kentucky's Morehead State University Space Science Center; the 20-meter dish antenna in Bochum Observatory, Germany, operated by AMSAT Germany; and SETI's Allen Telescope Array, California. ISEE-3 was launched in 1978, and last commanded in 1999 by NASA. On May 15, 2014, the project reached its crowdfunding goal of US$125,000, which will cover the costs of writing the software to communicate with the probe, searching through the NASA archives for the information needed to control the spacecraft, and buying time on the dish antennas. The project then set a 'stretch goal' of $150,000, which it also met with a final total of $159,502 raised. The goal is to be able to command the spacecraft to fire its engines to enter an Earth orbit, and then be usable for further space exploration. This satellite does not even have a computer; it is all 'hard-wired.'"
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ISEE-3 Satellite Is Back Under Control

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  • by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Friday May 30, 2014 @10:29AM (#47128567)

    This satellite does not even have a computer; it is all 'hard-wired.'"

    A lot of early computer systems were hard-wired [toronto.edu] in terms of instructions and logic paths. It didn't make them unusable, just arcane considering newer technologies like SoCs. We have come a long way.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30, 2014 @10:52AM (#47128751)

    I thought this was all an idealistic dream of some space nerds.

    It was. Competence and hard work turns idealistic dreams into reality.

    +1 Engineers.

  • Re:Bravo! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nightwraith ( 180411 ) on Friday May 30, 2014 @11:11AM (#47128909)

    It was certainly nice that this was approved with a great deal of speed by all the agencies involved. Good news too that they were able to preempt other previously approved projects.

    But in reality, it sounds like they had an excellent plan and at least some proof-of-concept design done when it was pitched to those agencies. Also, it's pretty time-sensitive and a great PR win if it succeeds, which the space industry desperately needs right now.

    When the grease is available, all those wheels of government can turn pretty quickly!

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus