Dennis Wingo KD4ETA has released an update on the attempts by volunteers, including radio amateurs, to gain control of the NASA ISEE-3 spacecraft.
The International Sun-Earth Explorer (ISEE-3), a spacecraft that was launched in 1978 to study Earth’s magnetosphere and repurposed in 1983 to study two comets. Renamed the International Cometary Explorer (ICE), it has been in a heliocentric orbit since then, traveling just slightly faster than Earth. It’s finally catching up to us from behind, and will be closest to Earth in August, 2014.
In his report Dennis says that the spacecraft was successfully commanded into engineering telemetry mode and he mentions the work of radio amateurs Achim Vollhardt DH2VA (AMSAT-DL Bochum) and Phil Karn KA9Q.
[Achim Vollhardt DH2VA and Mario Lorenz DL5MLO plan to attend the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford July 26-27 to give a presentation of their work. The event is open to all]
Regarding the possibility of Lunar impact Dennis says “If we can maneuver the spacecraft by June 17th we get the very small delta V number for the maneuver above. However, this starts to climb rapidly as the spacecraft gets closer to the moon. Also we cannot at this time rule out a lunar impact. It is imperative that we get a ranging pass as soon as possible. We also need time to not only evaluate the health of the spacecraft, but to test the systems, the catalyst bed heaters for the propulsion system, the valve heaters, analyze the rest of the propulsion, power, and attitude control system as rapidly as possible. This will be a lot of commanding so we have to move into high gear next week. This is a very fluid situation and we have made amazing progress, thanks to the support of those who believed in us in our crowd funding and the support of our NASA sponsors at NASA Ames and NASA headquarters. More to come soon!!”
Watch ISEE-3 Reboot Project – Recovering a 30 year old space probe
ISEE-3 / ICE Telecommunications Summary
Dennis Wingo KD4ETA blog http://denniswingo.wordpress.com/
Can radio amateurs command the ISEE-3 / ICE spacecraft ?
Radio amateurs receive NASA ISEE-3 / ICE Spacecraft
Radio hams help attempts to command NASA spacecraft
ISEE-3/ICE on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ISEE3returns