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Civilians seize control of wandering NASA satellite

(BetaBeat) The McMoon’s team outside of mission control. (Photo via Google)

For the first time in history, an independent crew is taking control of a NASA satellite and running a crowdfunded mission. They’re doing it all from a makeshift mission control center in an abandoned McDonald’s in Mountain View, CA, using old radio parts from eBay and a salvaged flat screen TV.

“If I could come up with another absurd detail, I would,” Keith Cowing, the project’s team lead, told Betabeat.

The ISEE-3 is a disco-era satellite that used to measure space weather like solar wind and radiation, but went out of commission decades ago. Now, a small team led by Mr. Cowing have taken control of the satellite with NASA’s silent blessing.