March 3, 2014
[[A white-on-black drawing of the ISEE-3
ICE probe was launched in 1978. Its mission ended in 1997 and it was sent a shutdown signal.
[[Back to black-on-white text.]]
In 2008, we learned–to our surprise–that the probe didn’t shut down. It’s still running and it has plenty of fuel. …and in 2014, its orbit brings it near Earth.
[[Two figures talking.]]
Figure 1: We could sent it on a new mission… except we no longer have the equipment to send commands to it.
Figure 2: Can’t we-
[[Camera frame closes in slightly on the first figure.]]
Figure 1: NASA won’t rebuild it. “Too expensive.”
Figure 2: Seriously?
Figure 2: I know, right? So the internet found the specs and we went to work.
[[Camera zooms out as the two figures walk through an area with two other figures seated at desks working on laptops; one of the seated figures is wearing a headset.]]
Figure 1: We’ve convinced them to give us time on the Madrid DSN transmitter and hacked the maser to support the uplink. And today’s the big day.
[[Camera focuses on the figure with the headset.]]
Headset Operator 1: Transmitting… We have a signal! We have control!
[[Camera flips back to the first figure.]]
Figure 1: Okay, transmit the new comet rendezvous maneuver sequen-
Off screen: What the hell?
[[Camera zooms back out to show all four figures.]]
Headset Operator 1: My console went dead!
Operator 2: Mine too!
Figure 1: What’s happening?
[[Camera back to figure with headset, staring at screen.]]
Headset Operator 1: There’s a new signal going out over the transmitter!
Figure 1 (from offscreen): A bug?
Headset Operator 1: Someone else is in the system!
[[Camera switches to the second operator.]]
Operator 2: Kill the connection!
Headset Operator 1 (from offscreen): I can’t find it!
Operator 2: They’re firing the probe’s engines!
Headset Operator 1 (from offscreen): No!!
[[Camera switches back to the headset operator.]]
Figure 1 (from offscreen): Who’s doing this?? Stop them!
Operator 2 (from offscreen): I’m trying!
Headset Operator 1: Look! My screen!
[[The camera zooms back to show all of them, and a message is being shown on the headset operator’s screen, in red.]]
[[Camera cuts to a pool with two figures in it.]]
[[Camera zooms out to show that the pool is on the roof of a downtown building. We see the figures’ speech coming from it.]]
Crash: Yeah, Burn?
[[Same skyline view.]]
Burn: Make a wish.
[[A meteor passes through the sky above the city skyline.]]