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NASA loses contact with its new lunar probe Capstone Lunar Probe

The NASA expertise Communication problems with your coronation mission On the way to the moon, a cube Sent to study a new lunar orbit for the future Gateway station.

After the initial publication of Capstone (Cislunar autonomous GPS technology operations and navigation experience) On July 4, the spacecraft successfully deployed the solar panels, stabilized and began charging its onboard battery.

The Capstone propulsion system is also equipped for the first maneuver of the spacecraft. coronation, from microwave oven size, made an initial connection with the DSN (Deep Space Network) ground station in Madrid, followed by a partial connection with the Goldstone ground station in California. Through these contacts, mission operators were able to determine Capstone’s approximate position and velocity in space.

Illustration of what the Capstone probe will look like as it orbits the Moon; It will be a communication link between the Earth and the following lunar basesNASA

As a result of connection problems, the Capstone’s first course correction maneuverOriginally scheduled for the morning of July 5, it was postponed. This maneuver is the first in a series designed to make small corrections to Increasing the accuracy of moving orbit to the moonThe spacecraft remains in its intended general ballistic transition to the Moon while awaiting this course correction.

The team has good trajectory data for the spacecraft based on the first full pass of the ground station and the second partial pass with the deep space network. “if it is necessary, The mission has enough fuel to delay the course correction maneuver After breaking up for several days.” NASA reports in an update.

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