Long-lost spacecraft that NASA rediscovered this year is incommunicado


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Six months after NASA final picked up a sign from a long-lost spacecraft, engineers have been unable to re-establish communications with the satellite tv for pc, the company confirmed in a brand new assertion launched yesterday (Aug. 28).

That spacecraft, the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora World Exploration (IMAGE), launched in 2000 and labored completely till 2005, when the satellite tv for pc unexpectedly stopped speaking with Earth. However in January, an beginner astronomer immediately picked up a sign matching the spacecraft’s communication system, and NASA later confirmed that it was certainly the long-lost IMAGE.

Because the rediscovery, engineers at NASA and the Johns Hopkins College Utilized Physics Laboratory have been making an attempt to re-establish a gradual communication line with the spacecraft. That may let engineers consider the devices on board and decide whether or not it could be price making an attempt to salvage the spacecraft.

And at first, rescuing the spacecraft appeared believable: The engineers retrieved some preliminary information from the satellite tv for pc and confirmed its batteries have been nonetheless working. However on the finish of February, the spacecraft broke off communications once more, and since then, the sign from the satellite tv for pc has been spotty or nonexistent.

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In yesterday’s replace, the primary NASA has launched since Could, the company confirmed that the communication issues proceed. Engineers nonetheless have not managed to lock in on the misplaced satellite tv for pc’s sign, and the spacecraft continues to be ignoring all instructions being despatched to it.

Throughout its profession, the spacecraft was the primary to map the whole magnetosphere, which is the world influenced by Earth’s magnetic discipline. The magnetosphere performs an important function in defending Earth from photo voltaic radiation.

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