Phew! NASA's CAPSTONE  again

moon probe phones home

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

Another supermoon rises 

this month