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NASA, private group sign agreement to revive old spacecraft
Posted: Thu, May 22, 2014, 10:43 AM ET (1443 GMT)
ISEE-3 illustration (NASA) NASA and a private group have signed an agreement to attempt to revive a 1970s-era spacecraft that will fly by the Earth in August. The Space Act Agreement between NASA and Skycorp covers technical, legal, and other issues involving Skycorp's effort to contact the International Sun-Earth Explorer-3 (ISEE-3) spacecraft, launched in 1978 to study the solar wind. After it completed that mission in 1981, NASA redirected the spacecraft to fly past the comets Giacobini-Zinner in 1985 and Halley in 1986, then perform studies of the Sun into the 1990s before traveling too far from Earth for communications. ISEE-3's orbit brings it close to the Earth in August, and a team that includes Skycorp and other organizations hope to re-establish contact with the spacecraft and redirect it into the Earth-Sun L1 point to resume space science studies. The ISEE-3 Reboot Project has raised more than $140,000 from a crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs of attempting to contact the spacecraft and take control of it. NASA is providing technical support but no funding through the Space Act Agreement.
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