Since the last time I reported on ICE/ISEE-3, there have been several developments. Its signal has been detected by several Earth-based observers, and there is now some (though slight) hope of reestablishing command over the spacecraft.
It's with great sadness that I report that the Goddard Space Flight Center team has determined that we will not be able to regain control of the venerable spacecraft ICE/ISEE-3 when it passes by Earth this year, after a 30-year journey around the Sun.
After a journey of more than 30 years, ICE is coming back to Earth next year. But do we know how to regain control of it, and can we find the means to do so?
My collage of all the asteroids and comets visited by spacecraft is probably the single most popular image I have ever posted on this blog. I've now updated it to be in color and to include Toutatis.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/10/03 12:05 CDT
That's the subject line of an email that Lou Friedman forwarded to me last week. He'd received it from Robert Farquhar, who has a long and distinguished career as flight director for numerous space missions. The "IT" in his email was ISEE-3/ICE.