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Lost NASA Satellite, Missing Since 2005, Found by Amateur Astronomer

Image: Lost NASA Satellite, Missing Since 2005, Found by Amateur Astronomer

NASA's IMAGE satellite is enclosed in its fairing prior to launch in early 2000. (NASA)

By    |   Thursday, 01 February 2018 05:22 PM

A NASA satellite lost in 2005 has been located by an amateur astronomer who was looking for evidence of a possible secret SpaceX initiative.

Canada-based astronomer Scott Tilley picked up signals from the satellite in January and realized that it was not accounted for by NASA in its currently functioning satellites, CNN reported. After matching the signal to a NASA spacecraft, Tilley blogged and tweeted his theory that the satellite was the IMAGE and reached out to NASA.

NASA used five different antennas and confirmed Tuesday that the signal matched IMAGE, CNN reported. The NASA team also found that the main control system of the satellite is still operational even though the satellite had stopped communicating with NASA in 2005, NASA reported.

Over the next week or two, NASA scientists and engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will look at the data collected and attempt to figure out the condition it is in, as well as trying to get systems updated and back online, the NASA site said.

IMAGE was originally launched in 2000 to study the magnetic field around Earth and was successful in mapping out its details, CNN reported. The satellite also had 37 scientific discoveries before it lost communication. It completed its initial mission of two years and was in an extended phase when it was lost.

IMAGE’s mission was declared over in 2007 after NASA was unable to re-establish contact, CNN reported. At that time, its original software and databases were decommissioned, but NASA will now try to adapt the software so it can be used again.

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A NASA satellite lost in 2005 was located by an amateur astronomer in Canada who was looking for evidence of a possible secret SpaceX initiative.
nasa, lost satellite
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2018-22-01
Thursday, 01 February 2018 05:22 PM
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