back to article Zombie … in SPAAACE: Amateur gets chatty with 'dead' satellite

An amateur astronomer hunting the Zuma satellite that SpaceX may or may not have lost has instead turned up signals from a NASA bird thought dead since 2005. Zuma went missing after separation from its SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher earlier this month. Like many other amateur sky-watchers, Scott Tilley has since tried to locate the …

  1. cantankerous swineherd

    software and commands to potentially operate the mission

    plus something to put the floppy disk in?

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Come on it's not that old

      It's probably on a Zip disk.

      1. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: Come on it's not that old

        Ahhhh Zip disks... *happy memories* ;-)

        1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

          @anothercynic Re: Come on it's not that old

          Ahhhh Zip disks... *happy memories*

          Happy?!?! Can I have what you're having?

          1. adam payne Silver badge

            Re: @anothercynic Come on it's not that old

            Clearly the click click click of a dodgy zip drive has sent him quite mad.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: @anothercynic Come on it's not that old

              The commands to control the satellite are stored in this tape cassette... *picks up copy of Great Military Marches on compact cassette* ... Oh really, Mr Bond...

          2. Fred Tourette
            Meh

            Re: @anothercynic Come on it's not that old

            I'm guessing from the handle (and the subject), that was a bit of sarcasm.

          3. Swarthy Silver badge
            Terminator

            Re: @anothercynic Come on it's not that old

            Nah, It'd be on a Bernoulli cartridge. So once they find the software, they'll have to find the drive and a PCIe SCSI card. Bwa ha ha ha!

    2. Wensleydale Cheese

      hunting for the necessary "software and commands to potentially operate the mission"

      Let's hope it wasn't put in a box marked "If not used within 10 years, dispose of".

      Or on DAT. They were iffy when new.

      1. nijam

        > ...Or on DAT. They were iffy when new.

        Never had any problem with DAT myself. DDS, though...

    3. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
      Alien

      Let's hope it doesn't burn out its main antenna feed upon starting to receive the commands.

  2. W4YBO

    Mr. Tilly has a pretty cool hobby...

    ...and has made me appreciate the junked DishNetwork antenna out in the garage. I have to approach this carefully, though. I'm not sure what my wife will think about a radio telescope in the backyard.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Mr. Tilly has a pretty cool hobby...

      Put it on the roof and she'll never notice it. Most wives are too busy looking at the flowers and for weeds so they're never focused on the roof. I'll get my coat and make ready the ladder.

  3. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    Happy

    Finder's Keeper's

    Does Finder's Keeper's apply in this case? Or does he need to touch it before he can claim it?

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Finder's Keeper's

      Salvage rules? x% of the original value?

      1. shifty_powers

        Re: Finder's Keeper's

        If you can go and physically claim it, sure...

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Finder's Keeper's

      Lick it and it's yours.

  4. m0rt Silver badge

    @richard

    Thanks for that! :D

  5. anothercynic Silver badge

    That's pretty nifty!

    Well done, Peter! That's pretty cool.

    Rescuing space junk since... when exactly?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: That's pretty nifty!

      Targeting space junk is no test of a warrior's metal.

      1. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: That's pretty nifty!

        Well, TRT, it's not targeting it, it's rescuing it and seeing if it still lives. :-)

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: That's pretty nifty!

          Well if it fights back, of course...

          1. cray74

            Re: That's pretty nifty!

            Well if it fights back, of course...

            Doesn't anyone remember the lesson of the Soviet Venus probe!? It's not everyday you have a bionic astronaut handy to defeat those things, so shoot first and shoot often!

      2. Hurn

        Re: That's pretty nifty!

        Shurely, that's mettle. (Unless a pun was intended.)

      3. nijam

        Re: That's pretty nifty!

        > ...no test of a warrior's metal...

        ... or even of their mettle.

    2. Usermane

      Re: That's pretty nifty!

      That's The Martian Way

  6. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coat

    I wonder ...

    if the signal they detected doesn't decode to:

    "I aten't dead!"

    I'd better be on my way. The one with "Equal Rites" in the pocket please

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I wonder ...

      Pre-dated by Monty Python and The Holy Grail.

    2. Patrician
      Pint

      Re: I wonder ...

      Have a pint for the Granny Weatherwax reference ...

  7. RegGuy1
    Facepalm

    The satellite's unnoticed revival was a classic turn-it-off-and-turn-it-back-on scenario

    Ah, it's running Windows!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The satellite's unnoticed revival was a classic turn-it-off-and-turn-it-back-on scenario

      Don't be silly.

      Windows is turn it on and watch it leak memory till infinity.

      1. Usermane

        Re: The satellite's unnoticed revival was a classic turn-it-off-and-turn-it-back-on scenario

        Windows Vista

    2. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: The satellite's unnoticed revival was a classic turn-it-off-and-turn-it-back-on scenario

      Worse. OS/2 Warp.

  8. MCMLXV
    Headmaster

    @TRT

    metal mettle

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: @TRT

      Quite correct. I could blame auto corrupt, but in this case, it was a brain fart on my part.

      Or, I could blame the universal translator... the Klingonese database has been showing signs of corruption.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Russian Hackers

    Russian Hackers have probably taken it over to run bitcoin scripts

  10. Brainache
    Joke

    Looking in the wrong place

    Zuma ain't there, she's long gone!

    It engaged it's em drive soon after launch and it's off for a rendevous with the alien scout ship Oumuamua in a few years. We're going to probe the aliens this time and it must be true as I read it on the dark net at a bitcoin exchange while shopping for Spectre hax off the NSA.

    Now which Icon do I need. Tin foil hat, aliens, black helicopters...

  11. spold Bronze badge

    De-orbit

    Can we vote on where he might drop it? Ok there is an obvious winner in Florida particularly at the weekend. Fore!

  12. MOH

    I've seen this before and it didn't end well for anyone. Wasn't this pretty much the plot of the first Star Trek film?

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