You are never too old to still be useful. Look at Kepler, crippled, too far away for repair, yet still doing science, albeit a different type than it was sent out to space for, but science still.
But the 36-year-old International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3), is probably one of the oldest to be tasked with a new mission. The spacecraft flew by the Moon yesterday evening while a private team of engineers (who took control of the spacecraft earlier this year from NASA) will try to reboot the spacecraft for an interplanetary science mission.
The long, and complex path of the spacecraft is very interesting.
The private team was hoping to bring the craft into orbit around Earth, but there wasn’t any fuel left, so on to plan B (no, not Plan 9 from outer space, Plan B).
Google has offered to help and held a Hangout and assisted with providing live spacecraft data at the site SpacecraftForAll.com and access to the mission.
As time moves forward, I am seeing a lot more citizen science projects. With the Maker movement and access to technology, it seems that the sky is really not the limit for what you can accomplish.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +