Scott Tilley spends many nights and nights scrutinizing the sky. For this American amateur astronomer, the goal is to discover if any unreferenced spy satellites are in orbits over his country. But on Saturday, January 20, when he once again thought of stargazing, something else came up before his eyes.

An unexpected return

IMAGE, a satellite lost for twelve years by NASA has passed, as if nothing had happened. Sent in 2000, its goal was to study the Earth’s magnetosphere. Clearly, IMAGE’s objective was to check the weather of the space around our planet and especially everything that happens between 800 and 1,000 kilometers above our heads. Unfortunately, NASA lost contact with the satellite in 2005. For two years, scientists have tried to trace and make contact, but they will never succeed. According to them, a battery problem caused this loss.

After his crazy discovery, Scott Tilley quickly informed the US government agency that confirmed it was IMAGE. ”  We are all very, very excited to know that we could recover the satellite,  ” commented Patricia Reiff, a scientist in charge of the project at the time. NASA should attempt to analyze the satellite in the coming weeks, but has little hope of recontacting it and taking control of it. In fact, the software and databases that are linked to it are obsolete and out of date for the agency’s modern computers.

Nevertheless, the eclipses of recent years could have restored energy to the IMAGE battery and created a new link. We cross fingers.