News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by A Martínez
Airs Weekdays 2 to 3 p.m.

Amateur astronomers take control of NASA's 36-year-old ISEE-3 satellite

NASA artistic rendering of the ISEE-3 satellite.
NASA artistic rendering of the ISEE-3 satellite.

Listen to story

Download this story 2MB

Since the 1957 launch of the first space satellite, Sputnik, tens of thousands of spacecraft have been sent into space. Many of them are no longer in operation — they're basically zombies continuing to float through space with no purpose.

Last week, a group of citizen scientists was able to make contact with a satellite that hasn't been used in 17 years. It's called the International Sun Earth Explorer or ISEE-3 and it was launched by NASA in 1978.

Here to tell us why they made contact is Keith Cowing, co-founder of the ISEE-3 REBOOT Project and a former NASA scientist.