Updates on Recovery Attempts for NASA IMAGE Mission

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After an pledge astronomer accessible observations of a satellite in high Earth circuit on Jan. 20, 2018, his initial investigate suggested it was a Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) — a NASA goal launched into circuit around Earth on Mar 25, 2000.

Seeking to discern either a vigilance indeed came from IMAGE, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, concurrent a use of 5 apart antennas to acquire radio magnitude signals from a object.

As of Monday, Jan. 29, observations from all 5 sites were unchanging with a radio magnitude characteristics approaching of IMAGE. Specifically, a radio magnitude showed a spike during a approaching core frequency, as good as side bands where they should be for IMAGE. Oscillation of a vigilance was also unchanging with a final famous spin rate for IMAGE.

To endorse over doubt that a satellite is IMAGE, NASA will subsequent try to constraint and investigate information from a signal. The plea to decoding a vigilance is essentially technical. The forms of hardware and handling systems used in a IMAGE Mission Operations Center no longer exist, and other systems have been updated several versions over what they were during a time, requiring poignant reverse-engineering.

If information decoding is successful, NASA will find to spin on a scholarship cargo — now incited off — to know a standing of a several scholarship instruments.  Pending a outcome of these activities, NASA will confirm on how to proceed.

IMAGE was designed to picture Earth’s magnetosphere and furnish a initial extensive tellurian images of a plasma populations in this region. After successfully completing and fluctuating a initial two-year goal in 2002, a satellite suddenly unsuccessful to make hit on a slight pass on Dec. 18, 2005. After a 2007 obscure unsuccessful to satisfy a reboot, a goal was announced over.

Original Story – Jan. 26, 2018: Attempting to Contact NASA’s IMAGE

In mid-January, an pledge astronomer reported they believed they had done hit with a NASA satellite called Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE). IMAGE launched on Mar 25, 2000, and hit was suddenly mislaid on Dec. 18, 2005. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has acquired time on a Deep Space Network (DSN) to concentration on a source and establish either a vigilance is indeed IMAGE. This routine contingency take into care a selected inlet of a spacecraft, and includes locating suitable program and commands to potentially work a mission. We will share some-more information as it becomes available.

Diagram of NASA’s IMAGE spacecraft.
Credits: NASA

The IMAGE booster undergoing launch preparations in early 2000.
Credits: NASA

Source: NASA

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