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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

NASA OKs Citizen Science Attempt to Rescue a Vintage Spacecraft

•, By Adam Mann
Because of a tight budget, NASA couldn’t muster the resources to make this revival happen. So, a group of citizen scientists stepped forward to take on the challenge. Yesterday, NASA officially endorsed the group, known as the the ISEE-3 Reboot Project, and signed a space act agreement giving it the go ahead to try to bring back to life a mission that started during the Carter Administration. The International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) satellite launched in 1978 to monitor the solar wind, a constant stream of radiation and charged particles coming from the sun. It joined two sister spacecraft—ISEE-1 and ISEE-2—that launched a year earlier. But in 1982, ISEE-3 was pulled away from its mission and repurposed to join a mini international race to make the first encounter with Halley’s comet. The satellite, renamed the International Cometary Explorer (ICE), won that race, zipping close enough to inspect another comet in 1985 and Halley’s comet in 1986, ahead of Russian, European and Japanese spacecraft.

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