On Thursday a group of space enthusiasts announced that they had established two-way communication with the International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3), a satellite launched in 1978 and used throughout the 80’s to study solar winds.
After the satellite had completed its mission, NASA used the Moon’s gravity to fling it into an orbit leading Earth around the Sun. Contact with the ISEE-3 was officially suspended in 1998. Many years later, the ISEE-3 is about to catch up with Earth from behind, an occasion which led the space enthusiasts at the ISEE-3 Reboot Project to try to make contact with the dormant spacecraft.
With NASA funds perpetually low, using resources to make contact through the space agency was an impossibility. But last week, NASA handed the keys to the satellite over to the ISEE-3 Reboot Project, which is backed by a company called Skycorp, Inc.