Tue. May 30th, 2023

NASA has been successful in its attempt to restore communication with the space agency’s Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) spacecraft.

CAPSTONE, a microwave oven-sized CubeSat, left Earth’s low orbit for a solo journey toward the moon on July 4. However, the spacecraft faced communication issues.

Advanced Space, the Colorado-based company which operates the mission for NASA, tweeted, “We have re-established communications with CAPSTONE. The spacecraft is looking happy and healthy. More details to come.”

NASA’s statement said, “Teams are preparing to carry out CAPSTONE’s first trajectory correction manoeuvre – which will more precisely target CAPSTONE’s transfer orbit to the Moon – as early as 11:30 a.m. EDT on July 7. As originally planned, CAPSTONE will arrive to its lunar orbit on Nov. 13.”

As per Tech Crunch, the CAPSTONE spacecraft is the first step for NASA’s ambitious Artemis program, which plans to return humans to the moon by the middle of this decade.

The team is still trying to figure out the root cause of the issue through the available data. For now, the spacecraft is in its expected location with reestablished communication.

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