NASA stated Tuesday it has misplaced contact with a $32.7 million spacecraft headed to the moon to check out a lopsided lunar orbit, however company engineers are hopeful they’ll repair the issue.
After one profitable communication and a second partial one on Monday, the house company stated it might not talk with the spacecraft referred to as Capstone. Engineers are looking for the reason for the communications drop-off and are optimistic they’ll repair it, NASA spokesperson Sarah Frazier stated Tuesday.
The spacecraft, which launched from New Zealand on June 28, had spent almost every week in Earth orbit and had been efficiently kick-started on its option to the moon, when contact was misplaced, Frazier stated.
The 55-pound satellite tv for pc is the scale of a microwave oven and would be the first spacecraft to check out this oval orbit, which is the place NASA needs to stage its Gateway outpost. Gateway would function a staging level for astronauts earlier than they descend to the lunar floor.
The orbit balances the gravities of Earth and the moon and so requires little maneuvering and due to this fact gas and permits the satellite tv for pc — or an area station — to remain in fixed contact with Earth.