CNN contacts CubeSat that broke out on its way to the moon

CNN contacts CubeSat that broke out on its way to the moon

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CNN has reestablished contact with one of its satellites that stopped communicating on its way to the moon.

After it stopped communication with the Deep Space Network on Tuesday, engineers were able to contact the tiny CubeSat on Wednesday. The DSN is NASA's radio antenna network that supports spacecraft missions as well as some orbiting Earth missions.

The CAPSTONE The satellite left Earth's orbit Monday and marks an important milestone in its four-month journey to the moon, as the CubeSat is the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment.

The mission team was forced to delay the first trajectory correction maneuver originally scheduled for July 5, due to connection difficulties. The mission team plans to make a series of corrections to increase the accuracy of the orbit transfer to the moon.

After CAPSTONE successfully left Earth's orbit, it started charging its onboard battery using solar arrays, according to an update from NASA.

The CubeSat is on the right now and is on the intended course for its ballistic lunar transfer, NASA said.

The satellite will rely on its own propulsion and the sun's gravity for the rest of its trip. The gravity will allow the CubeSat to use less fuel to reach its destination.

The mission was launched on June 28 aboard Rocket Lab's Electron rocket from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand.

The goal of the CubeSats is to enter an elongated orbit, which is a near rectilinear halo orbit, around the moon for at least six months for research purposes.

The spacecraft will be within 1,000 miles 1,609, according to the satellite's orbit. 3 kilometers from one lunar pole at its closest pass and within 43,500 miles 70,006. Every seven days, 5 kilometers are taken from the other pole.

The small satellite will be testing its communication abilities. The lunar south pole will be covered in the orbit, which is the planned landing point for the Artemis astronauts in 2025.

The CubeSat will also communicate with NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a spacecraft that has been circling the moon for 13 years. It will allow scientists to measure the distance between the CubeSat and the LRO, as well as where CAPSTONE is in the sky.