NASA: Contact lost with spacecraft on way to test moon orbit

NASA said Tuesday it has lost contact with a $32.7 million spacecraft headed to the moon to test out a lopsided lunar orbit

The  agency engineers are hopeful they can fix the problem.

After one successful communication and a second partial one on Monday, the space agency said it could no longer communicate with the spacecraft called Capstone

Engineers are trying to find the cause of the communications drop-off and are optimistic they can fix it, NASA spokesperson

The spacecraft was launched from New Zealand on June 28, had spent nearly a week in Earth orbit.

It had been successfully kick-started on its way to the moon, when contact was lost

The 55-pound satellite is the size of a microwave oven and will be the first spacecraft to try out this oval orbit, which is where NASA wants to stage its Gateway outpost

Gateway would serve as a staging point for astronauts before they descend to the lunar surface.

The orbit balances the gravities of Earth and the moon and so requires little maneuvering and therefore fuel and allows the satellite to stay in constant contact with Earth.


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