By Gage Simpson, Owner of New Frontier News

Friday, February 2, 2018 (NEW FRONTIER NEWS) -NASA’s IMAGE satellite which has been missing for almost 12 years was just found by an amateur astronomer on January 20.

Canadian Scott Tilley, 47, discovered IMAGE by accident when he was searching for secretive Space X Zuma mission when he received a signal from a satellite he did not account for. He later matched the signal to IMAGE.

He immediately blogged and tweeted his finding and contacted the NASA investigator who worked on the IMAGE team.

NASA confirmed the satellite was indeed IMAGE after five separate antennas at Deep Space Network caught IMAGE unique spacecraft ID 166.

NASA originally launched Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) on March 25, 2005, to explore the Earth’s magnetic field. NASA lost contact with the spacecraft in 2005. It made 37 unique scientific discoveries in its first 5 years of life and that its initial mission was successful. The mission was ended in 2007 after multiple attempts to try and reboot the system.

After NASA reestablished communication with the satellite they discovered that its B side had stopped working in 2005, which was the side being used for communication after a 2004 reboot of the power system, and that A side had rebooted sometime after communication was lost. NASA scientists are still trying to find more details on the events leading to the failure in the system, but it will take time as the system that the spacecraft uses has been decommissioned by NASA and will need to be modernized to the new system.


Garner, R. (2018). Latest Data From IMAGE Indicates Spacecraft’s Power Functional. Retrieved from

Park, M. (2018). Amateur astronomer discovers NASA satellite that’s been lost for 12 years. Retrieved from

Rossman, S. (2018). Amateur astronomer discovers lost NASA satellite because of unexplained reboot. Retrieved from