The ISEE-3 Reboot Project (see posts here, here, and here) appeared to suffer a serious and irreversible setback this week when they were unable to fire the propulsion system to change the spacecraft’s trajectory. While hydrazine fuel still remained in the tank, there did not appear to be any nitrogen to push the fuel into the engine : Curtain Falls on ISEE-3 Reboot Project as Propulsion System Fails - SpaceNews.com.
Now there is some hope that the nitrogen has not leaked out but has dissolved into the hydrazine. The group is asking for help from anyone who might know how to deal with this:
- Fresh Hope for an Abandoned NASA Spacecraft – IEEE Spectrum
- ISEE-3 Reboot Project Seeks Your Help To Solve a Technical Problem – Space College
The team asks:
Did the Nitrogen pressurizing gas dissolve in the Hydrazine in the tanks?
This is something that we would like to research and for efficiencies sake and to get the job done quicker, we would like our project fans out there to help us in this research. I am reading an old USAF document on this now and it may be nothing, but it also may be something. We need to research the following:
- What is the solubility of Nitrogen in Hydrazine?
- What is the temperature dependence?
- Most important, what is the time required to dissolve 1 kg of Nitrogen in 15 kg of Hydrazine? This is an approximation for both tank systems of course.
This is important. Don’t just throw stuff on the wall, help us research this.