For the past 12 years, A NASA satellite called IMAGE was lost in space.
NASA scientists reportedly had heard from the satellite since 2005 when it suddenly stopped responding.
However, that changed earlier this month when an amateur astronomer came across the IMAGE satellite signals by chance.
Scott Tilley was searching for traces of the “secretive Zuma mission launched by SpaceX” when he found the IMAGE satellite.
He did so by matching the signal to a NASA spacecraft and discovered it was the long-lost IMAGE Satellite.
Tilley recorded his findings on his blog and reached out to the principal investigator, Richard J. Burley, who previously worked as the IMAGE Ground System Manager and Mission Director at the time of its disappearance.
Upon Tilley’s findings, NASA formed an investigation dispatching its Deep Space Network, a constellation of radio telescopes used to communicate with space missions, to search for the satellite.
Five of the Network’s antennas confirmed the signal and successfully matched the satellite’s identity.
On Tuesday, NASA confirmed that the recovered satellite was in fact IMAGE.
— NASA Sun & Space (@NASASun) January 31, 2018