back to article Space geeks' resurrected NASA Sun probe ISEE-3 now on collision course with THE MOON

The attempt by a team of crowdfunded space hackers to recover one of NASA's most historic satellites has run into problems: the spacecraft's engines are stubbornly refusing to fire, leaving it on a possible collision course with the Moon. The ISEE-3 reboot Team Space hacking team has the right stuff Last week the team …

  1. John 110


    Time travel!!! It'll be able to go back and save itself....

  2. Mark 85

    Murphy hit them..

    Pity. I hope they can get the main engine to fire but even if not, it's been great to hear that have been able to do what they've done already.

    I wish I could buy one for everyone on that team.

  3. Mystic Megabyte

    Time delay

    In the case of probes that are very distant I have often wondered what these boffins are monitoring on their screens. Bearing in mind a communication delay of many minutes, is it where the probe actually is now or where it was x minutes ago or perhaps where it should be in x minutes? Confused? I am!

    Hopefully someone will know the answer.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Time delay

      Depending on what they are monitoring probably a mix of both. "As received data" and "predicted real time" predicting the most likely real time values based on the delayed data.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Time delay

      In the last few weeks the comms delay has gone from about one minute of round trip time down to about 30s.

      The position indicator on a screen wouldn't be affected much, even at the speed it's going (2km/s currently), if you're looking at a picture showing the entire orbit of the Moon, it's not going to move an entire pixel in one minute.

      Here, in fact, is the latest position update:

      Mostly what they're watching is their outgoing commands, and incoming telemetry, which you can see here: when they have a downlink.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We need the Vulture space salvage ship*

    Good luck guys, space nuts everywhere are rooting for you.

    *Anyone remember THAT series??

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Uwe Boll is on the case

    Really, ancient spacecraft collides with Moon due to meddling scientists? And one of them is female?

    More like this, please!!

  6. Winkypop Silver badge

    A disued McDonalds

    The best kind.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: A disued McDonalds

      Twice taken to court in a civil law suit?

  7. AJ MacLeod

    They've done incredibly well to get anywhere like this far and so cheaply, even if they never do manage to persuade it fully back into life again. It can be nerve wracking enough at times doing remote work on well documented ordinary server a few hundred miles away, this is a completely different proposition altogether.

    1. Arachnoid

      Did they try..........

      Turning it on and off again.........?

      Good work on the team for getting so far on communicating with ancient hardware.Hopefully a fix will come soon.

  8. Anomalous Cowshed

    Old McDonald

    Man, these Old McDonalds do certainly get up to all kinds of larks. One of them used to have a farm, with various animals, always one of each. That business plan clearly didn't scale much, since many, many years later, he was still known to be running the farm with the same number of animals, give or take the odd new one. Perhaps he should have tried running the place with 2 instead of just one animal of each species, preferably one male and one female...Who knows whether that would have worked. And yet, despite this lack of success, everybody has heard of him, he must be the most famous farmer in the English-speaking world. How do you explain that? Now, though, just as we had written off the entire clan of Old McDonalds, along comes another one and branches out unexpectedly into hosting spacecraft hackers. This has come as a bit of a surprise, but it looks like you cannot predict what an Old McDonald might do next. this space!

    1. Martin Summers

      Re: Old McDonald

      Don't look now but he might soon just be opening a McSpace Port...

    2. 's water music

      Re: Old McDonald

      Old McDonald...[had] a farm, with various animals, always one of each

      Pretty sure he tended to have one here, there and everywhere. Did yo mamma not love you or where you just not paying attention?

  9. John Tserkezis

    Old Macdonald had a satellite with EIE I/O.

    Ok, ok, I'm going...

    1. ecofeco Silver badge


  10. ecofeco Silver badge

    Sincere good luck to them

    Sincere good luck to you guys.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where's Scotty when you really need him?

    1. stucs201


      Not available on this occasion. From the hashtags these guys are using we're clearly talking Galaxy Quest, not Star Trek. So major problems are solved by a phone-call to the fans; which is pretty much what has been done to get this far.

    2. hplasm


      His ashes are in space- possibly clogging up satellite thrusters...

  12. James 51

    I want to see stories on the news about these hackers and what they have accomplished.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You bastards!


    Oh my god, they destroyed the moon!


    1. Fungus Bob
      Thumb Up

      Re: You bastards!

      But Kenny is still alive.

  14. SteveK

    Come on people, it's not rocket science. Oh, wait..

    1. Complicated Disaster

      You're right. It's not rocket science. It's rocket engineering. And that's far more difficult.

      1. Shrimpling
        Thumb Up

        They have been referring to themselves as Space Plumbers which gets a thumbs up from me...

  15. mleonard

    I really hope they get the engines going again. I had the good fortune to meet one of the team while on holiday in San Francisco in April, the work they have pulled off to date is just awesome, fingers crossed for them.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Working 'out of'

    Why does American English encourage the use of prepositions that have the opposite meaning to that which is intended?

    Working 'out of' a MacDonalds = Working IN a MacDonalds

    Based 'off of' something = Based ON something

    Fill 'out' a form = Fill IN a form

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Working 'out of'

      Those are all perfectly cromulent phrasings.

      1. breakfast Silver badge

        Re: Working 'out of'

        They're certainly not uncromulent.

  17. 38292757

    Re: Working 'out of'

    The part of speech that "out" occupies is the runcible genetive.


  18. Joe Gurman

    Never give up....

    ....never surrender: The effort is truly admirable, but wasn't that the motto in Galaxy Quest? Or am I confusing it with the Japanese defenders of various Pacific islands?

  19. Mr.Mischief

    Maybe if they jiggle some wires..

    .. has their BOFH tried that?

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