How can we tell the story of the ISEE-3 through an interactive documentary? 

The ISEE-3 is a spacecraft launched by NASA in 1978, meant to monitor interactions between the earth’s magnetic field and the solar wind. It was decommissioned after 21 years of service and sent into an orbit around the sun. In 2014 Dennis Wingo and Keith Cowing formed the ISEE-3 reboot project, a crowd funded effort to attempt to get in contact and gain control of the ISEE-3 spacecraft for the benefit of citizen science. The team raised almost $160,000 USD in funding and assembled top space experts for the cause. In May 2014 they began successfully communicating with the spacecraft in advance of it’s August lunar flyby.

Google Creative Lab partnered with the reboot team to create Space Craft for All, a Chrome Experiment in the form of an interactive web documentary that tells the story of the International Sun/Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) and the reboot project.  

My role on the team was to create a scale 3D model of the original spacecraft by referencing NASA documentation from the ship’s original launch. I also took over 30 years of trajectory data, given to us by the reboot team, and 3D modeled it into a scale trajectory of the ISEE-3’s path in space. Both of these elements were then ported into WebGL and used to tell the story of the ISEE-3. 

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Creative Direction: Richard The

Development: George Michael Brower, Active Theory

Film: Philip Stockton, Michael Reuter

Design: Glenn Cochon, Isaac Blankensmith, Colin Kim

3D Modeling: Isaac Blankensmith

Copy: Jason Hoff

Production: Suzanne Chambers, Asa Block