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NASA restores contact with spacecraft headed to lunar orbit

Rocket Launch Moon
Posted at 12:20 PM, Jul 06, 2022

WASHINGTON — Communications between a spacecraft heading to the moon and NASA were reestablished after the space agency lost contact with it earlier this week.

The satellite, which launched from New Zealand last week, is heading to test out a lopsided lunar orbit.

On Monday, it left Earth's orbit, but by Tuesday, NASA had lost contact with the spacecraft.

"Following successful deployment and [the] start of spacecraft commissioning on July 4, the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) spacecraft experienced communications issues while in contact with the Deep Space Network," NASA said. "The spacecraft team currently is working to understand the cause and re-establish contact. The team has good trajectory data for the spacecraft based on the first full and second partial ground station pass with the Deep Space Network."

On Wednesday, the space agency said contact was restored with Capstone.

NASA did not immediately release information about what caused the loss of communications, nor how they did re-establish them.

The mission of the trip is for the spacecraft to test an oval orbit around the moon because, eventually, the space agency wants to put a mini space station called Gateway.

Gateway would be a place for astronauts to stage before they descend to the moon's surface.