ISEE-3 Reboot Project Uses ‘Citizen’ Scientists To Jump-Start Retired NASA Spacecraft

May 22, 2014 5:39 PM

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ISEE-3 Reboot Project Uses ‘Citizen’ Scientists To Jump-Start Retired NASA Spacecraft

NASA’s 36-year-old International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 spacecraft, or ISEE-3, has been aimlessly roving the solar system after NASA dropped the project in 1997. But according to Virginia-based nonprofit Space College Foundation, Inc., who will lead the mission to jump-start the spacecraft alongside researchers from California-based Skycorp Inc. and international media company SpaceRef, the probe is still operational and has enough fuel for one final thrust.

ISEE-3 was launched in 1978 to study solar winds coming towards Earth. Its first mission was completed in 1981, after which it was redirected to observe two comets. It has continued to orbit the sun ever since and will make its closest approach to Earth in more than 30 years in August.

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