NASA said Wednesday that communications with the Orion spacecraft has been restored following an “unexpected loss.”
In a blog post, the agency wrote that NASA’s Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, unexpectedly lost data to and from Orion at 12:09 a.m. CST for 47 minutes.
The loss occurred while reconfiguring the communication link between Orion and Deep Space Network overnight.
“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 wrote.
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On Nov. 20, the fifth day of the 25.5-day Artemis I mission, a camera mounted on the tip of one of Orion’s solar array wings captured this footage of the spacecraft and the Moon as it continued to grow nearer to our lunar neighbor. The spacecraft entered the lunar sphere of influence at 2:09 p.m. EST, making the moon, instead of Earth, the main gravitational force acting on the spacecraft. Orion completed its first flyby on the morning of Nov. 21, 2022.
(Image Credit: NASA)
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,” NASA said.
Snoopy, the zero-gravity indicator for NASA’s Artemis I flight test, floats in space on Nov. 20, 2022, while attached to his tether in the Orion spacecraft. In this enhanced image, Snoopy stands out in a custom orange spacesuit, while Orion’s interior has been shaded black and white for contrast. The character’s spacesuit is modeled after the suit astronauts will wear during launch and reentry in Orion on future missions to the moon. NASA has shared an association with Charles M. Schulz and Snoopy since the Apollo missions and the relationship continues under Artemis. Snoopy was selected as the zero-gravity indicator for the flight because of the inspiration and excitement the character has provided for human spaceflight for more than 50 years.
(Image Credit: NASA)
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It said there was no impact to Orion and that it remains in a healthy configuration.
NASA’s new moon rocket lifts off from Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. This launch is the first flight test of the Artemis program.
((AP Photo/John Raoux ))
This hiccup comes following hydrogen leaks and other delays ahead of the Artemis I launch of the Space Launch System rocket.
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The rocket and uncrewed Orion capsule lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center early on Nov. 16.