NASA says its Capstone satellite lost contact on its way to the moon

After the June 28 launch of a microwave-sized satellite on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket, things were going well for NASA’s Capstone lunar orbit mission, CNET reported. On Monday, the spacecraft successfully unfolded from the Photon upper stage and was sent in the direction of the moon. But then it stopped communicating with Earth. NASA engineers are working to reconnect with the Capstone computer.

“The Earth-Moon Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) spacecraft experienced communications issues while contacting the Deep Space Network after successfully deploying and beginning spacecraft commissioning on July 4,” NASA said in a statement Tuesday . express.


In the absence of a Rocket Lab rocket, Capstone should use its own propulsion system to navigate to the moon, where it will attempt to enter a new type of circular orbit around the moon. The spacecraft is testing the same orbit used by NASA’s upcoming Gateway to the Moon. Gateway will serve as an orbital outpost for astronauts on the Artemis mission to visit the lunar surface later this decade.

NASA said the Gateway was carrying enough fuel that its initial navigation maneuvers could be delayed for days while mission controllers struggled to reconnect with the spacecraft.

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