After correcting communications with Earth, the NASA CAPSTONE CubeSat is said to be “happy and healthy.” This means that the spacecraft can resume transmissions to the ground again after a worrisome 24 hours when it could not. On Wednesday, the restoration of the connection was separately confirmed by Advanced Space, which is in Colorado and is the company that built, owns, and operates CAPSTONE; Terran Orbital. It is in California. It also built the CubeSat platform and NASA. The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) is the first step in NASA’s ambitious Artemis program, which aims to send people back to the moon by 2025.

The CubeSat is about the size of a microwave oven. And its mission is to map out an unusual orbit around the moon known as a near-rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO), which may one day be used for a lunar space station. This facility, which NASA refers to as the “Gateway,” has the potential to create a vast number of opportunities for the exploration of space for humanity. Its task is to be a resupply depot and a way station for longer crewed jobs to Mars and beyond. Also, it could be used to land rovers or humans on the moon.