NASA has recently retrieved a satellite lost in the space at least a decade ago. It proves that things contribute to turning up when you don’t expect them. The IMAGE (Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration) was launched in 2000 in order to capture the first comprehensive images of atmospheric plasma. It finalized its beginner mission in 2002, but unable in making contact again on a routine pass by the Earth in 2005. Scientists were expecting that an eclipse in 2007 would kick-start a reboot, but when it went out of contact, the mission was declared over. The IMAGE was expected to spend the rest of its days floating peacefully through the universe. An amateur astronomer spotted it in the skies in the beginning of January.

satellite lost in space 13 years ago

NASA took more than a couple of weeks to confirm that the mysterious observation was undeniably the IMAGE. The satellite was identified from the types of hardware and operating systems used in the satellite, but they no longer exist. Some other systems have been upgraded several versions beyond what they were at the time and it is requiring a significant amount of reverse-engineering. But, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland, successfully gathered telemetry data from the satellite by confirming its ID after some tinkering. The team will now spend the coming weeks in analyzing data collected from the satellite in order to learn more regarding the state of the spacecraft, and its activities during the entire disappearing time period.