NASA unexpectedly lost contact with the Orion capsule on the lunar surface early Wednesday (November 23) morning, for reasons that remain unclear.
uninhabited Orion He has done well since then Launching to the moon Last Wednesday (November 16) on NASA Artemis 1 Expedition. But Wednesday (November 23) brought a light signal: Mission controllers lost contact with Orion at 1:09 a.m. EDT (0609 GMT) while re-establishing a link between the capsule and the rover. Deep Space Networkthe array of radio dishes NASA uses to talk to its distant spacecraft.
NASA officials wrote in a letter Brief update on Wednesday (Opens in a new tab).
“The team solved the problem by reconfiguring the land side,” they added. “Engineers are examining data from the event to help determine what happened, and the command and data processing officer will correlate the data recorded aboard Orion during the outage to include in this assessment.”
The outage lasted 47 minutes, and Orion got out of it in good shape; NASA officials said the spacecraft was healthy and had no apparent ill effects.
Orion is preparing for a crucial maneuver: It is scheduled to fire up the engine on Friday (November 25) that will launch the capsule into orbit around the Moon. If all goes well, Orion will stay in this orbit for about a week, then return to Earth on December 1.
The capsule will arrive here with a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast on December 11th.
Artemis 1 is a rocking cruise of the giant Orion and NASA Space launch systemThe The most powerful missile ever to fly successfully. The duo of astronauts are scheduled to fly for the first time in 2024 aboard Artemis 2, which will send an Orion crew around the moon.
Artemis 3 will follow a year or so later, landing astronauts near the moon’s south pole — the place where NASA aims to build a manned outpost, which is one of its main goals. Artemis program.
Mike Wall is the author of “Abroad (Opens in a new tab)Book (Major Grand Publishers, 2018; illustration by Carl Tate), a book about the search for aliens. Follow him on Twitter @employee (Opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @employee (Opens in a new tab) or Facebook (Opens in a new tab).