(ORDO NEWS) — NASA announced Wednesday that it had re-established communications with the agency’s $32.7 million spacecraft that was heading to the moon to test an elongated lunar orbit.
Contact was lost after one successful communication and another partially successful transmission on Monday, after the spacecraft left Earth’s orbit and headed for the Moon, the space agency said.
The device spent almost a week in orbit around our planet after the launch from New Zealand on June 28.
According to NASA, the data shows that “all systems of the device are operating normally, and during the entire period of lack of communication with the Earth, movement continued along the planned route, without any deviations.” The reasons for the loss of contact with the spacecraft are currently being investigated.
This satellite, weighing about 25 kilograms, is about the size of a household microwave and will be the first spacecraft ever launched into this oval orbit, where NASA plans to place its orbital moon base called Gateway (“Gateway”).
The Gateway station will become a kind of transit point for astronauts sent to the surface of the Moon for its exploration.
In this orbit, the gravity of the Earth and the Moon balance each other, so the device will need to perform a minimum number of maneuvers, as a result of which fuel consumption will also be reduced to a minimum.
In addition, the satellite – and therefore the future station – can constantly remain in contact with the Earth while in this orbit, NASA representatives say.
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