NASA shot off the International Sun/Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) into space 36 years ago. The space agency now plans to bring the probe home later this year, but a new crowdsourced project wants to gather money to make use of it for citizen science.
Although ISEE-3 has been in the space for more than three decades, it was decommissioned back in 1999. NASA doesn’t have any money to spend on the probe any more and a significant amount of resources will be required to reinvigorate ISEE-3 into active operation.
So the team seeking to use ISEE-3 has now turned to crowdsourced funding. It is led by Dennis Wingo and Keith Cowing, both of whom have extensive experience in space-related projects and have worked on some high-profile NASA and DARPA initiatives. The duo wants to bring together sufficient money, somewhere around $125,000 to be specific, before mid-June 2014.
If the money is not raised by the said deadline, NASA will be forced to pull the plug on the probe and it will be home in no time. However, if Wingo and Cowing are able to get the requisite funds, they plan to build apps to leverage the scientific prowess of ISEE-3. And the space probe does pack some very useful scientific equipment since it was originally tasked with studying magnetic fields, the impact of solar winds on our planet and the movement of the tidal waves.
With 23 days left in the deadline, the project has already raised more than $27,000. If you want to make your contribution to this cause, head straight to the RocketHub page and donate.