Remember earlier reports of satellite IMAGE by amateur astronomers that NASA thought were fatal? Now this discovery has been confirmed by NASA. It is understood that the IMAGE satellite, Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration, was launched in 2000 and is responsible for observing the plasma around the Earth.
The first two years, IMAGE performed well, so NASA let it extend the two-year mission time, but in 2005 the satellite suddenly went to sleep. Since then, NASA has been trying to get back in touch with it, announcing IMAGE death after its last attempt in 2007.
Now, however, the satellite is not only found but may still be alive.
In response, NASA responded by confirming the January 20 discovery. Also on January 30, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Rael, Maryland, successfully collected telemetry data from satellites. The signal shows that the spacecraft ID is 166 - IAMGE ID is exactly 166. As of now, NASA has read some basic housekeeping data from the spacecraft, indicating that at least IMAGE's main control system is currently operational.
In order to regain contact with the satellite, NASA will have to start some software time travel. Various programs and data used by satellites need upgrades and updates, as well as the re-enabling of obsolete software to successfully interface with this satellite, which is "old-fashioned".
NASA said it may take several weeks for them to determine the complete status of the satellites and tools.