NASA's tiny CAPSTONE
moon probe is back in touch with its handlers, ending a short but spooky silent period.
After separating from
its Rocket Lab Photon spacecraft bus and heading toward the moon.
The mission team
immediately set to troubleshooting, and their efforts have already been rewarded.
CAPSTONE launched to
Earth orbit atop a Rocket Lab Electron booster on June 28, then spent a week spiraling farther
CAPSTONE is on its
way to an NRHO around the moon, a highly elliptical path that NASA has selected for its Gateway space station.
No spacecraft has ever
occupied a lunar NRHO, and CAPSTONE is tasked with verifying its stability for Gateway, which is a key part of NASA's Artemis program