NASA allows private scientists to take control of inactive space probe

May 24, 2014 2:19 AM

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NASA announced on Wednesday that is is handing over control of a 36-year-old decommissioned probe to a group of citizen scientists. The International Sun/Earth Explorer-3 (ISEE-3) was first launched in 1978, and since then has worked on several different studies. Its original purpose was to study solar wind, the flow of charged particles coming from the sun, and its effects on the magnetic field surrounding the Earth.

After that mission ended the probe was reassigned to the study of comets, and was renamed the International Comet Explorer. It examined Halley’s Comet as it passed by the earth in 1986. Finally, it turned back to the sun to observe coronal mass ejections, a phenomenon often accompanying powerful sol...

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