NASA lost contact with one of its satellites after it broke off the Earth’s orbit on its way to the moon.
The smaller CubeSat suspended contact with the Deep Space Network on Tuesday. DSN is a NASA radio antenna network that supports space communications between the planets and the Earth.
CubeSat is a Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, also known as CAPSTONE.
According to a NASA statement, the CAPSTONE team is working to re-establish communication and understand what caused the problem. They have robust data from the first full space shuttle and the second part of the Deep Space Network channel, the organization said in their release.
“If necessary, the campaign has enough fuel for delaying the demolition process after a few days,” the organization said.
Leaving the Earth cycle
The satellite departed from Earth’s orbit on Monday as planned, marking a milestone in its four-month journey to the moon.
It will rely on its propulsion and gravity for the rest of its journey, and gravity will allow CubeSat to use less fuel to get to its destination.
The campaign was launched with the Rocket Lab Electron rocket from Rocket Launch Complex 1 on the New Zealand Mahia Peninsula on June 28.
The goal of CubeSats is to enter a long trail close to the rectilinear halo around the moon for at least six months for research purposes.
The satellite’s orbit will bring the spacecraft within 1,000 miles (1,609.3 km) to one lunar location in the nearest location and within 43,500 miles (70,006.5 km) from one place every seven days.