The CAPSTONE probe is testing a new route to the Moon. NASA lost communication on July 4.
NASA has announced that it has reestablished communications with the CAPSTONE probe that is on its way to the Moon .
The space agency managed to restore this link after a full day. Of course, although it was worrying, it was a latent possibility.
What happened to CAPSTONE?
NASA had previously pointed out that the spacecraft could go through this uncertainty .
“If necessary, the mission has enough fuel to delay the initial post-separation trajectory correction maneuver for several days,” a NASA spokesperson told Space.com.
CAPSTONE also made initial contact with the Deep Space Network ground station in Spain and partial contact with the Goldstone ground station in California, allowing mission operators to determine its approximate position and speed.
path to the gateway
The satellite heads toward the moon in an orbit destined for Gateway : a lunar space station built by NASA and its partners.
CAPSTONE launched in June from New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula aboard Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket. It was carried on a second spacecraft called Photon, which broke away from Earth’s gravitational pull this week.
The satellite would be used to obtain vital information, including operational data.
The plan is for CAPSTONE to enter a nearly rectilinear halo orbit around the Moon on November 13.