January 31, 2023

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NASA loses contact with the lunar moon CAPSTONE |  Currently

NASA loses contact with the lunar moon CAPSTONE | Currently

US space agency NASA It lost contact with CAPSTONE, the small satellite launched over a week ago. The device is on its way to the moon in preparation for NASA’s Artemis program, which is supposed to eventually return humans to the moon.

CAPSTONE is a microwave-sized satellite designed to study orbit around the Moon. NASA plans to float a small space station there, where astronauts can dock before and after their visit to the moon.

On July 4, the satellite left its orbit around the Earth and headed for the moon. Soon, contact with NASA was lost, the space agency now reports. It is not known why this happened.

A team of scientists is working to restore contact. They know where the satellite is because it has made short communications with ground stations in Madrid and California. “If needed, CAPSTONE will have enough fuel to delay the necessary orbit correction toward the Moon by a few days,” NASA wrote.

If all goes well, it will take CAPSTONE four months to enter a previously unfinished lunar orbit. The satellite mission will then continue for six months. It will study how best to stay in orbit around the Moon and measure how long it takes for radio signals to reach Earth.

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