NASA's Zombie IMAGE Satellite is Working Nicely

rgMekanic

[H]ard|News
Joined
May 13, 2013
Messages
6,204
The satellite that NASA hadn't heard from in 13 years that powered up randomly last week is apparently working well. NASA has stated that the IMAGE spacecraft's battery is fully charged, and that overall, the satellite itself seems to be in good shape. NASA is putting together a small control center now to re-create the 12 year old software and turn on the science instruments.

NASA stuff never fails to amaze. We wrote about this last week when the satellite randomly turned on after 13 years, and I still can't wait to see what kind of data they end up extracting from it.

As we move forward, NASA is starting to recreate a small control center that can generate the commanding needed to better understand and control the satellite. This will then allow us to gain insights into the state of various science instruments, and see whether any are still functional. Should any of the instruments be functional, NASA will convene a panel of external scientists to assess the science potential in the context of constrained budgets for operating spacecraft.
 

umeng2002

Gawd
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May 23, 2008
Messages
923
The Reptilians shut it down and wiped the memory because of what it discovered.

In all seriousness, it would be funny if it was a software error that made it lose contact for that period of time then just turn back on and start working again.
 

termite

Supreme [H]ardness
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Aug 27, 2004
Messages
5,750
The Reptilians shut it down and wiped the memory because of what it discovered.

In all seriousness, it would be funny if it was a software error that made it lose contact for that period of time then just turn back on and start working again.


Yeah, some programer fat fingered a scheduled shut down and reboot date.

Or aliens. When NASA gets an alien virus after connecting with this "dormant" satellite they're going to be sorry.
 

Rahh

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
1,607
I actually wonder if they ever thought against if they should connect with a satellite that has been lost in space for 13 years or were they like giddy school children and cared not?

Also, how do they know it was off? They lost signal but on January 20th an amateur astronomer recorded observations of a signal which was confirmed to be from IMAGE. How do they know it wasn't always transmitting and they just lost it if it had not been for this amateur that found it?
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
34,491
Lol.

They have to recreate the software?


Not a single copy was archived for posterity? Not even the source code?
 

WhoMe

Gawd
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Jan 3, 2018
Messages
827
It's going to broadcast the code that turns us all into Zombies? Yeah for zombie apocalypse. Be interesting though if it can be made useful again. They tried this once before some years ago (on a different sat) but it didn't work. Hmmm...maybe it got hot enough for the solder to reflow ;).
 

gamerk2

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 9, 2012
Messages
2,011
The Reptilians shut it down and wiped the memory because of what it discovered.

In all seriousness, it would be funny if it was a software error that made it lose contact for that period of time then just turn back on and start working again.

My guess: A software/hardware error caused it to go into the equivalent of "safe mode", where ANOTHER error caused it to hard lock. Fast forward a decade or so, and the batteries drained and the entire thing shut down. Fast forward another year or two and the batteries charged enough for it to restart, clearing the fault.
 

Zuul

Gawd
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Jan 7, 2013
Messages
850
My guess: A software/hardware error caused it to go into the equivalent of "safe mode", where ANOTHER error caused it to hard lock. Fast forward a decade or so, and the batteries drained and the entire thing shut down. Fast forward another year or two and the batteries charged enough for it to restart, clearing the fault.
So basically they put Windows on it.
 

longblock454

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Messages
2,348
The watchdog timers should have caught the hardlock issue, must have been more serious than that.

I suspect the error wasn't recorded/logged by the onboard computers, likely we'll never know what really happened.

Might also be hard to justify dedicating resources to a renewed mission, as who knows how long it will stay alive.
 

Angry

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
470
Watch them do all the work to get back into communicating with it, and then it shuts off again....


That would suck. Take another 4 years for Side B to come back on...


The satellite's like..."WTF YALL BEEN?!...I been waitin YEARS for you to answer me!"
 

Lunas

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 22, 2001
Messages
10,018
So NASA what are you in need of for the right price you can have a machine from my closet.
I have machines from the late 90s to about 2009
 
Last edited:
Joined
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The conspiracy theorist in me wants to think that it has been secretly working all along doing all sorts of nefarious things like spying on you in your back yard and relaying child porn on Trump's behalf.
 

c3k

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 8, 2007
Messages
2,306
It was undergoing an unplanned windows update and just finished rebooting.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Did our update policy interfere with your work?"
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
29,903
The conspiracy theorist in me wants to think that it has been secretly working all along doing all sorts of nefarious things like spying on you in your back yard and relaying child porn on Trump's behalf.

You do realize that Obama was in office for the bulk of the time the satellite has been dormant right? I know it doesn't fit your anti-Trump narrative though which is what you're really trying to post about.
 
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