ISEE-3 In Critical Period

The ISEE-3 Reboot Group has been working hard over the last three weeks to reconnect and communicate with the International Sun/Earth Explorer 3, launched in 1978 and only recently returned from an orbit around the sun.  Conducting what one of the Group describes as techno-archaeology, the researchers have been communicating with the spacecraft since early June.  The plan has been to work out commands with the spacecraft with an eye toward spinning up the rockets sometime very soon.  Regrettably, an attempt to initiate a spin-up burn scheduled for earlier today (the 20th) had to be scrubbed due to communication challenges.

Delays for a space mission are hardly novel.  It might help to remember that this spacecraft, unlike most of its present-day cousins, has no computer.  While the team had hoped to have spin-up accomplished by now, they remain confident that it can be done, and are presently expecting it to happen by the end of June/early July.  Meanwhile, take a listen to a song with lyrics from an ISEE-3 team member.


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