A private group of citizens, against immense odds have managed to make contact with a 36 year old NASA satellite which has been loitering in deep space since 1997. Facing immense red tape obstacles and even a minor earthquake, the group has managed to resurrect the defunct NASA’s Vintage ISEE-3 Spacecraft.

Working under the banner of ISEE-3 Reboot Project, the group made contact with the probe on Thursday using the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. The region had earlier experienced an earthquake of moderate intensity (5.8 on the Richter scale) temporarily halting the operation. The group is trying to redirect the path of the space craft before it is too late for the maneuver.

The brain and the inspiration behind the project was co-leader Keith Cowing, who remained behind in Virginia for management while other co-lead Dennis Wingo worked at Arecibo Observatory for a period of two weeks and is expected to leave by the 30th of this month.

The team was technically very competent but red tape and bureaucratic hassles and a Space Agreement with NASA had to be completed before the operation could be started. The approval finally came through on May 29. The first contact with the satellite has been excellent and exactly as predicted. The group plans to put the reawakened spacecraft in the Earth-Sun Lagrange Point 1 (ES-1), a gravitationally stable spot about 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth. It will not be an easy maneuver and will require planning to the minutest details. Before this procedure the group will make contact with the satellite to see which instruments are working.

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