Have you ever lost something important? Your wallet, phone, or an expensive textbook? Well, how about losing a 132-million-dollar satellite? Whoops! Well, that’s what NASA did 13 years ago.
In 2005, they lost track of their Image for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) satellite. This satellite, which was part of a $132 million project, was on a mission to observe earth’s magnetic field and how solar winds from the sun interact with it. But the satellite vanished—until just recently.
An amateur astronomer located the rogue satellite and reported his find to NASA. Their investigations confirmed it was indeed IMAGE and that it was still partially functional. But there’s a problem. The hardware and operating systems used for IMAGE are no longer being used—technology has changed a lot since early 2000 when IMAGE went into orbit. NASA is trying to reverse-engineer their programs so they can access the satellite’s data but no one knows if that’s possible yet.
Technology is rapidly changing and that creates some problems with old technology, such as that found on IMAGE—and it’s really not even that old! What technology do you think will be obsolete in 13 years? Head to our Facebook page and let us know!