Anamateur astronomer has actually reached a long-lost NASA satellite, the company revealed Tuesday (Jan 30).
TheImager for Magnetopause- to-AuroraGlobal Exploration (IMAGE) satellite was released in March 2000, and surpassed its preliminary two-year objective by operating through2005 However, NASA controllers lost contact with the satellite in December 2005, bringing the objective to an abrupt end.
Now, engineers from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center have actually validated that a signal detected by the amateur astronomer (who was not called in the declaration) is really from the IMAGE satellite. The engineers utilized NASA’s Deep Space Network– which includes a series of ground-based radio telescopes– to determine the signal. [In Photos: Spotting Satellites and Spaceships from Earth]
“On the afternoon of Jan. 30, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland, successfully collected telemetry data from the satellite,”NASA authorities stated in a declaration. “The signal showed that the space craft ID was 166 — the ID for IMAGE. The NASA team has been able to read some basic housekeeping data from the spacecraft, suggesting that at least the main control system is operational.”
IMAGE was the “first satellite mission dedicated to imaging the Earth’s magnetosphere, the region of space controlled by the Earth’s magnetic field,” inning accordance withNASA The Earth’s magnetic-field lines link to the world at 2 poles that lie really near to the geographical North and South poles. The magnetic-field lines rise from those contact points and curve around the world, producing a sort of magnetic bubble. The field lines affect the motion of plasma, a gas including charged particles (electrons) and charged atoms (called ions), which can then be determined by in-situ instruments. Previous research studies of the magnetosphere counted on sewing together an international photo of this area based upon in-situ measurements taken at different places, inning accordance withNASA
“Instead of such in situ measurements, IMAGE employed a variety of imaging techniques to ‘see the invisible’ and to produce the first comprehensive global images of the plasma populations in the inner magnetosphere,” inning accordance with NASA’s site. “With these images, space scientists were able to observe, in a way never before possible, the large-scale dynamics of the magnetosphere and the interactions among its constituent plasma populations.”
NASA states it’s refrained from doing yet with IMAGE.
“Scientists and engineers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will continue to try to analyze the data from the spacecraft to learn more about the state of the spacecraft,” company authorities stated in the declaration. “This process will take a week or two to complete as it requires attempting to adapt old software and databases of information to more modern systems.”
Original post on Space com.