NASA/ISEE-3 Reboot Project Space Act Agreement



In accordance with the National Aeronautics and Space Act (51 U.S.C. S 20113), this Agreement is entered into by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Ames Research Center, located at Moffett Field, CA 94035 (hereinafter referred to as "NASA" or "NASA ARC") and Skycorp, Inc located at 23500 Treeview Trial, Los Gatos, CA 95033 (hereinafter referred to as "Partner" or "Skycorp"). NASA and Partner may be individually referred to as a "Party" and collectively referred to as the "Parties."


A. Partner Information

Skycorp Incorporated was founded in March of 1998 as a Delaware C Corporation by Dennis Wingo; Skycorp was additionally qualified and authorized to transact intrastate business in California on February 15, 2011. Skycorp has designed power systems and avionics for sounding rockets, qualified a COTS payload for Radio Shack that flew to ISS, designed large telescopes, on orbit servicing systems, and developed methods for assembling spacecraft in orbit. Skycorp co-started the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP), which worked to recover and resurrect the only remaining tape drives capable of playing the only remaining master tapes of the 1960's era Lunar Orbiter Program.. There are no international partners or benefactors with whom Skycorp operates. For the ISEE-3 Reboot project, Skycorp has brought together a small, experienced team from academia and industry.

B. Activity Description

Skycorp hopes to contact and command the ISEE-3 spacecraft into an orbit near Earth and resume some or all of its original research functionality; this effort has been named their 'ISEE-3 Reboot Project'. To attempt this activity, Skycorp needs NASA to provide the necessary authorization to command and control the spacecraft. Skycorp has initiated a crowdfunding campaign over the internet to privately fund its effort.

The purpose of this Nonreimbursable Space Act Agreement (NRSAA) is for NASA ARC, on behalf of NASA, to set the ground rules, assumptions, and sequence of events for this proposed activity, and facilitate providing Skycorp with the necessary authorizations to control NASA's ISEE-3 spacecraft should NASA decide to do so. In advance of this NRSAA, export controlled NASA command and control documents at NASA GSFC would need to be released to Skycorp under a separate Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).

The ISEE (International Sun-Earth Explorer) Program is a NASA/ESA cooperative program consisting of three satellites intended to study the dynamic properties of Earth's magnetosphere and the solar wind in front of the magnetosphere (study the interaction of the interplanetary medium with the earth's immediate environment and to study the magnetosphere bow shock and magnetosheath in order to derive a better model of the interaction). Specific objectives of the mission were the following:

a. Investigate the solar-terrestrial relationships at the outermost boundaries of the Earth's magnetosphere.

b. Examine in detail the structure of the solar wind near the Earth and the shock wave that forms the interface between the solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere.

c. Investigate motions of and mechanisms operating in the plasma sheets.

d. Continue the investigation of cosmic rays and solar flare emissions in the interplanetary region near 1 AU.

The ISEE-1 and ISEE-3 spacecraft were the principal contributions of NASA, while ISEE-2 was built and managed by ESA. More than 100 investigators, representing most of the magnetospheric community, from 33 institutes were involved in the ISEE mission and its 32 instruments. The three spacecraft carried a number of complementary instruments for making measurements of plasmas, energetic particles, waves, and fields. The mission thus extended the investigations of previous IMP (interplanetary Monitoring Platform) spacecraft.

C. Value

The value to NASA of this collaboration includes the following:

a. Recognizing that ISEE-3 has already successfully completed its intended scientific mission, there is a potential opportunity to recover this NASA spacecraft that otherwise will flyby and not return in the near future. . Without a successful orbital trim maneuver, the ISEE spacecraft will continue on its current path to flyby on August 10, 2014, which will result in an orbit that does not return the spacecraft to the vicinity of the Earth for thousands of years.

b. If spacecraft operations can be resumed, there is an opportunity for NASA to benefit from the STEM educational aspect of graduate student operators of the receive side of the spacecraft after it goes into its final orbit.

The value to Skycorp of this collaboration includes the following:

a. Skycorp will gain operational experience with a spacecraft operating beyond the bounds of Earth orbit on its approach and operational insight into the requirements for executing these maneuvers as well as the ground support systems requirements.

b. If successful, Skycorp intends to pursue STEM educational activities.

D. Ground rules and Assumptions:

This NRSAA is subject to the Parties complying with the following Ground Rules and Assumptions. If this activity is pursued, NASA shall require, and Skycorp and its ISEE-3 Reboot Team shall abide by, the following ground rules and assumptions, as well as the Sequence of Events and Authorizations to Proceed (ATPs) described below:

ISEE-3 Path Forward (Space Act Agreement minimum conditions) - Ground Rules and Assumptions:

a. While NASA is a strong advocate for citizen scientists, NASA is not involved, and shall not be involved, in the ISEE-3 Reboot Project s crowd funding activity.

b. NASA must provide incremental authorization for the Reboot Project to move forward at each of the Gateway Authorization to Proceed (ATP) points defined below.

c. NASA retains the right to rescind its authorization at any time.

d. This agreement will apply only to the plan to communicate and move ISEE-3 to an L1 location. The agreement will not be applicable to any other notional plans should the return to L1 fail.

e. NASA intends to provide available and releasable data on the spacecraft to the ISEE-3 Reboot Project. Due to the length of time since ISEE-3 development and consistent with NASA records retention policies, a complete set of ISEE-3 documentation does not exist at NASA. Consequently, some documents and information regarding ISEE-3 have been destroyed. NASA will make available such requested documentation as has already been located. NASA will not undertake a search for any additional ISEE-3 records beyond what is currently located.

f. NASA has not made a determination on the feasibility of the ISEE-3 redirect proposal.

g. NASA will not provide funds, facilities or consulting services, but will allow up to 80 hours as part of education and outreach for factual data requests.

h. NASA has no intention of funding operations of ISEE-3 or analysis of any ISEE-3 data products regardless of the outcome of the Reboot Project.

i. For ATPs, NASA will provide an appropriate review team to perform assessments and produce recommendations for decision by SMD for each incremental ATP. NASA will solely determine what is appropriate in terms of the composition of the review team and the scope of the review.

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