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, California, 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 has taken control of the satellite with NASA's silent blessing.