Artemis I mission controllers at Johnson Space Center in Houston lost communication between the uncrewed Orion capsule near the moon and the Deep Space Network overnight for nearly an hour before restoring the connection.
It’s not clear what exactly happened or what caused the disconnect that began at 1:09 a.m. ET Wednesday and lasted for 47 minutes. In the hours since, however, communications have been restored and seem to be back to normal.
Contact, navigation and control with Orion are routed through NASA’s Near Space Network and Deep Space Network, which utilize a combination of public and commercial-operated infrastructure on the ground and in space.
NASA reported that unexpected loss of data came while reconfiguring the link between Orion and the Deep Space Network.
“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,” the agency said in a blog post. “The team resolved the issue with a reconfiguration on the ground side.”
NASA engineers will be reviewing data to try and pinpoint a cause.
Brief losses in contact with spacecraft are not unprecedented or particularly unusual, but always worth keeping close track of for obvious reasons.
Orion is set to enter orbit around the moon in a key moment on Friday. The capsule that is meant to eventually carry astronauts on future Artemis missions will spend about a week in lunar orbit before return to Earth for a splashdown landing.