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A summary of the past week’s private effort at Aceibo to reactivate ISEE-3.
They have discovered that the spacecraft is approximately 150,000 miles away from its expected position. This complicates the rescue effort significantly, as all their course corrections have to be recalculated based on this new position and they don’t yet have it refined enough to do those recalculations.
This has become extremely important as there is a solid statistical chance that the spacecraft could impact the moon or even be off course enough to threaten other spacecraft in Earth orbit. We are working with Mike Loucks of Space Exploration Engineering (SEE) our trajectory guy on this issue. An east coast company, Applied Defense (ADS) has also offered their help and engineering support to derive a new ephemeris from our new position reports. ADS and SEE did the trajectories for NASA’s just completed LADEE mission.
Hopefully by the end of this weekend they will have more to report.