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ISEE-3 satellite is responding to commands after decades

Amateur astronomers have established two-way communications with a decades old NASA satellite called ISEE-3.

Published Fri, May 30 2014 9:04 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:16 PM CST

A few days back we mentioned that NASA was working with a group of amateur scientists to get communications with a satellite that launched in 1978 back up and running. The satellite is called the ISEE-3 and NASA has announced that after all these years of no contact from the satellite, it has been contacted and is responding.

ISEE-3 satellite is responding to commands after decades |

The satellite is responding to commands according to team members. The scientists said, "Our team has established two-way communication with the ISEE-3 spacecraft and has begun commanding it to perform specific functions. Over the coming days and weeks our team will make an assessment of the spacecraft's overall health and refine the techniques required to fire its engines and bring it back to an orbit near Earth."

Since the equipment originally used to send commands to the satellite had been destroyed, the team had to create software emulators to communicate with the satellite. While the satellite has responded and communications have been set up, it remains to be seen if the satellite's systems are capable of responding to commands to reposition it.


Shane is a long time technology writer who has been writing full time for over a decade. Shane will cover all sorts of news for TweakTown including tech and other topics. When not writing about all things geeky, he can be found at the track teaching noobs how to race cars.

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