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LogicalExtension t1_j1s4aqd wrote

Lost as in "lost contact", not like they dropped it down the back of the couch and couldn't find it.

Equipment fails, so it's fairly normal.

e: Also, as for the price -- well more than a million, try about $132 million. "Costs for IMAGE are estimated at US$132 million, including the spacecraft, instruments, launch vehicle, and ground operations."


jorbleshi_kadeshi t1_j1s6ffx wrote

I'm just picturing some astronomer out on the NASA front lawn wildly swinging around a little telescope and mumbling "I just know we put it up here somewhere!"


LogicalExtension t1_j1sgqoa wrote

"Honey, have you seen the IMAGE Satellite?"
"No, Dear, where did you leave it last?"


Mr_Zaroc t1_j1tqq1q wrote

"Well I put it in an circular orbit around earth, but someone must have put them somewhere else"
"Oh not that old story again, I told you I am not touching your satellites. Its yoir fault if you just leave them in Orbit"


Ferniclestix t1_j1sdkfw wrote

have you checked behind hubble, your always leaving stuff there?.


rocharox t1_j1u45xm wrote

Just call your mom, she can find it and point it out how it was RIGHT IN YOUR FACE...


PageFault t1_j1um0ar wrote

If they knew where it was, then why were they excited that he found it?


LogicalExtension t1_j1wbobo wrote

Again, lost contact. The exciting bit was that they started hearing from it again.

NASA only has so much capacity to talk to different space missions. The Deep Space Network system is in high demand, and they won't waste time trying to reach out to dead systems.

For instance, say tomorrow that Spirit or Opportunity Mars rovers started back up and were trying to phone home. Nobody is listening for them. They're 'lost' missions.

If, however, someone noticed this extra signal coming from Mars then there would be a whole lot of super excited people. You'd see more 'Lost Mars rovers found again' headlines.


PageFault t1_j1x7ycv wrote

So you think the amateur astrologist was able to figure out how to communicate with it but NASA couldn't? Interesting.


LogicalExtension t1_j1xhjkz wrote

Not communicate, just see that it was sending a signal that it wasn't before.

There's publicly accessible databases of all known satellites. You look up in a part of the sky and see a signal, you can look up what's in that orbit. For most, you can then find public information. If it's a satellite that's supposed to have died, and you're seeing a signal, well - that's interesting.