'Citizen Scientists' Take Over Old NASA Satellite

ISEE-3 wakes up after years
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2014 4:40 PM CDT
'Citizen Scientists' Take Over Old NASA Satellite
ISEE-3 is back in action.   (NASA)

A satellite originally launched in 1978 is getting a new lease on life after NASA stopped using it. NASA shut down the satellite, called ISEE-3, in 1997, and it's been spinning uselessly around the sun for years. But a crowdfunded team of "citizen scientists" last month got NASA's permission to use it again for research, the Raw Story reports. In May, they were able to communicate with it, the Economist reports, and this week, they relaunched its propulsion systems.

Now, it's once again rolling at its intended speed, the Economist notes, and the team plans to alter its trajectory next week, NBC News reports. So what will the experts do with it? For one thing, they're hoping to show off the power of modern technology: Tasks that once required giant infrastructures can now be achieved with software-based radios, the Economist notes. What's more, the experts are hoping to fuel renewed interest in space exploration. (More crowdfunding stories.)

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