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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘isee-3

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Caitlin Kelly at the Broadside Blog lists five reasons to become a free-lancer and five reasons not to do so.
  • Centauri Dreams’ Paul Gilster looks at the oddly misaligned planetary system of Kepler-56, possessing three known planets orbiting at different inclinations to their aging and expanding star’s equator, two of which will fall into their star shortly.
  • The Cranky Sociologists’ SocProf quite likes sociologist Saskia Sassen’s new book Expulsions, which examines the way people and regions and things are and aren’t included in a globalizing economy.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper on planetary formation in binary systems that seems to suggest it might be easier for planets to form in some binaries, owing to lower impact velocities of planetesimals.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Canada is set to purchase 65 F-35 fighters, notwithstanding political controversy.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas wonders about the potential anxieties associated with having a smart, on-line, home.
  • Language Log shares an interesting study suggesting that the phenomenon of “vocal fry” doesn’t hurt the credibility of speakers, so long as the speakers aren’t trying to hide it.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Jason Davis explores the so-far promising crowdsourced attempt to reactivate the decades-silent ISEE-3 probe.
  • Registan’s Casey Michel argues that the new Eurasian Economic Union isn’t that significant, given the reluctance of its member-states to accept transferring sovereignty to the centre and the growing influence of external powers including China.
  • Towleroad notes the late great gay icon Freddie Mercury.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Stewart Baker suggests that France and Belgium may well have direct wiretap access to telecommunications.
  • Window on Eurasia links to a Russian writer who argues that the net effect of Russian policies has been to shrink the Russian sphere of influence, by alienating first Georgians then Ukrainians.

[LINK] “The 1970s Spacecraft is Ours Again!”

io9 reported last night that ISEE-3, a space probe launched in 1978 and at risk of abandonment after NASA stopped funding, was successfully contacted by a crowdfunded effort.

ISEE 3 is a spacecraft from the 1970s currently creeping back up on Earth orbit. NASA abandoned it, but after a crowdfunding campaign, a team of citizen-scientists visited Arecibo with homebrew-hardware and made first-contact. Communications are re-established, and everything looks good to recover the craft!

After establishing that we can hear the ISEE signal loud and clear, the next stage was to open up two-way communications by giving the spacecraft commands. At the start of this campaign, we didn’t have the code, hardware, or knowledge of how to do that, but with a lot of work, your financial assistance, and a bit of luck, the team pulled together a new hardware emulator to speak to the craft in a language it understands.

Communication requires a hardware amplifier installed in the dish at Arecibo. After a lot of fiddling around and even an earthquake, everything was ready.The team has been waiting since Friday last week for permission from NASA to go ahead with first contact. Every day of delay was a mounting risk, as orbital dynamics has no patience for paperwork.

More, including links, are at io9. While the team is still waiting to get data back from the probe as to its functionality, it may well be launched on a new mission thanks to this crowdfunding.

Back in February, Emily Lakdawalla at the Planetary Society Blog predicted the loss of the spacecraft. It’s nice to know that this prediction was wrong.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 30, 2014 at 8:28 pm

Posted in Science

Tagged with , , , ,