A team of enthusiasts could not bring the ISEE-3 satellite “frozen” for 17 years into operational condition
And some more space for today. The news is quite important, albeit with a somewhat negative meaning, unfortunately.
On Habré several times they wrote about the ISEE-3 satellite , which had previously carried out the NASA mission, moreover, successfully, and then forgotten for 17 years. This satellite was simply unnecessary by NASA, after the completion of the mission, and it was simply “frozen”. Nevertheless, all instruments (13 scientific systems) work as well as in 1999, when the satellite was “frozen”.
A team of enthusiasts raised $ 150,000 to restore the satellite, and was able to establish a connection with it. As already wrote on Habré“On May 29, it was possible to reconnect with the station, and on July 2, after several attempts, turned on the engines. With this inclusion, the period of revolution of the station around its axis was changed. At the time of restoration of communication, the device was rotating at a speed of 19.16 rpm instead of the standard 19.75 rpm. The next step is the correction of the trajectory. It is scheduled for July 8th. ”
And just failed to perform the correction of the trajectory.
The thing is that there is either no fuel left in the satellite tanks (although the engines worked a little during the test), or just something went wrong. Tuesday and Wednesday, the team left to try to start the satellite engines to perform important maneuvers, but nothing came of it, the project team failed.
There is some consolation: as already mentioned above, the scientific tools of the device work, and they just managed to be launched. Therefore, these systems are brought into working condition, and the Earth will be able to receive some scientific data for about three months. After that, the satellite will be far away from the Earth, and communication sessions will end. The satellite will be lost forever.
Here it is, ISEE-3. This photo was taken in 1978, just before the launch of the spacecraft.
Nevertheless, the team is still worth congratulating on the success. Firstly, because these people have shown that crowdfunding can also be used in space, with the possibility of successfully raising funds for purely scientific purposes.
Secondly, enthusiasts were able to interest NASA, because the agency transferred the right to use the satellite to the new "owners".
Thirdly, tremendous work has been done to write new software for managing all satellite systems, to calculate the necessary maneuvers that could bring the satellite to the right point in space, to attract public attention to the project itself.
I would like to hope that this “public activity” in terms of space exploration does not stop, and soon we will see something new, a new project in which not only government officials and aerospace industry workers, but also ordinary people take part.