Washington: In a setback for NASA's Artemis 1, the Mission Control Center at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston lost contact with the Orion Spacecraft Wednesday for about 47 minutes.
Artemis I is the first integrated flight test of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, an uncrewed Orion spacecraft.
NASA launched the Artemis 1 Moon Mission last week after several failed attempts.
Accoridng to NASA, mission controllers lost communication with Orion at 1:09 a.m. EST (0609 GMT) Wednesday - on 8th day of launch, while reconfiguring a link between the capsule and the Deep Space Network, the set of radio dishes that NASA uses to talk to its farflung spacecraft.
"The reconfiguration has been conducted successfully several times in the last few days, and the team is investigating the cause of the loss of signal," NASA officials wrote in a brief update on Wednesday (opens in new tab).
"The team resolved the issue with a reconfiguration on the ground side. Engineers are examining data from the event to help determine what happened, and the command and data handling officer will be downlinking data recorded onboard Orion during the outage to include in that assessment. There was no impact to Orion, and the spacecraft remains in a healthy configuration", NASA said.
"The communication outage lasted 47 minutes, and Orion came out of it in good shape. The spacecraft is healthy and suffered no apparent ill effects", NASA officials said.
On Monday, NASA said Orion on its 6th day into the Artemis I mission successfully completed its fourth orbital trajectory correction burn using the auxiliary engines ahead the first of two manoeuvres required to enter a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon.
The Orion spacecraft performed the Moon's closest flyby on November 21, the US space agency said in a statement late on Tuesday.
Orion will enter distant retrograde orbit beyond the Moon on Friday with the second manoeuvre, called the distant retrograde orbit insertion burn.
Orion will travel about 57,287 miles beyond the Moon at its farthest point from the Moon on November 25, passing the record set by Apollo 13.
Orion has travelled 216,842 miles from Earth and was 13,444 miles from the Moon, cruising at 3,489 miles per hour.
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