NASA lost radio contact with its lunar Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) probe, the agency announced on Tuesday.
According to the leading space agency, the loss of contact between the agency and the probe took place on July 4, 2022, however, the communication between CAPSTONE and the agency’s DEEP Space Network was active and established to support deep space missions.
The issue appeared after the lunar probe separated from its Rocket Lab Photon, after completing the required period of the burning engines, sending the robotic probe to its orbit around the moon.
In a press update, the agency reported that the DSN had good tracking data for CAPSTONE, adding that the probe has enough fuel to allow it to delay the stage of the post-separation burn for several days which NASA engineers could fix the problem and re-make radio contact.
The lunar probe was launched on June 28 from the base of Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand.
It weighs 55-lb, and it was designed for a nine-month mission as part of NASA’s preparation for sending the manned lunar missions, alongside making sure of the stability of the Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO).
It is also considered part of the Artemis 1 lunar program by the leading US agency.