When we lose an object in space, it’s usually gone forever.
That’s the fate that everyone was expecting for LES-1 (short for the Lincoln Experimental Satellite), which disappeared from all tracking devices in 1967. There were eight more LES satellites launched over the following ten years, but LES-1 was never recovered.
Amateur astronomers were the first ones to pick up LES-1’s new transmissions in 2013.
Phil Williams from the United Kingdom said he heard a “ghostly sound” in the satellite’s signal. Some people even thought it might be sending alien voices to Earth.
Scientists have no idea why LES-1 is suddenly working again after tumbling through space all this time.
The most likely cause is the same faulty wiring that made it go offline to begin with.
The signal from the satellite is fluctuating because the device is spinning quickly.
When its solar panels are exposed to light, its transmitter can work. When the body of the satellite casts a shadow on the panels, the signal cuts out.
(via The Sun)