December 3, 2023

NASA has reconnected to its CAPSTONE satellite after it briefly lost contact.

capstone Leave the Earth’s orbit(Opens in a new window) on July 4 and “made an initial connection to the DSN ground station in Madrid, Spain.” After that, it was only able to make “partial contact with the Goldstone Earth Station in California”.

who – which partial connection(Opens in a new window) It allowed a NASA and CAPSTONE operator, Advanced Space, to determine the satellite’s position and speed despite communications failures. advanced space Says(Opens in a new window) This communication error delayed CAPSTONE’s first trajectory correction maneuvers, which were scheduled for July 5, but indicates that the satellite was designed for “durability of such a delay”. It also says that “the CAPSTONE mission team is working 24/7 to support this important mission.”

As of 11:30 a.m. ET today, NASA Says(Opens in a new window) She re-established contact with CAPSTONE. The agency has not provided additional details about the defect at the time of writing.

CAPSTONE – Moon Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experience – is mainly intended to collect information about Close to the straight halo orbit(Opens in a new window) It revolves around the moon. This data will be used to report the operation of a lunar space station called Gateway, which is expected to support it Artemis . program(Opens in a new window) It will see NASA use the Moon as a key part of its efforts to send the first astronauts to Mars.

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Ahead of CAPSTONE’s launch, NASA said it plans to use the satellite “to demonstrate innovative spacecraft-to-spacecraft navigation technology and unidirectional range capabilities that could help future spacecraft fly close to the moon while reducing the need to communicate with Earth.” Now it has a chance to prove the limits of that technology.

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