Six months after NASA last received a signal from a long-lost spacecraft, the engineers were unable to recover communication with the satellite, the agency confirmed yesterday in a new statement (August 28, 1965). This spacecraft, the imager for magnetopause Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE), launched in 2000 and worked perfectly until 2005, when the satellite unexpectedly stopped communicating with the Earth. But in January, an amateur astronomer suddenly picked up a signal corresponding to the spacecraft's communications system, and NASA later confirmed that it was actually the long-lost IMAGE.
Since rediscovering engineers at NASA and the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University have been trying to restore a steady communication line with the spacecraft. This would allow engineers to evaluate the instruments on board and determine whether it would be worth saving the spacecraft.
And at first the rescue of the spaceship seemed plausible: the engineers took first data from the satellite and confirmed that the batteries were still working. But at the end of February, the spaceship broke off communication, and since then the signal from the satellite is no longer or no longer available.
In yesterday's update, the first NASA released since May confirmed the agency that the communication problems persist. The engineers have still not been able to capture the signal from the lost satellite, and the spacecraft still ignores all commands sent to it.
Throughout his career, the spacecraft was the first to map the entire magnetosphere to Earth's magnetic field. The magnetosphere plays a crucial role in protecting the earth from solar radiation.
Original article on Space.com.