Contact made with NZ-launched spacecraft

According to NASA, communication has been established with a $32.7 million (A48.2 million) spacecraft that was on its way to the moon to test out a skewed lunar orbit.

After the spaceship departed Earth's orbit and began its journey to the moon on Monday, communication with it was lost, according to the space agency.

After taking off from New Zealand on June 28, the spacecraft travelled around the world for over a week.

The spacecraft "is in good health and operated securely on its own while it was out of communication with earth," according to data from NASA.

Investigating the reason behind the decline in communications.

The 25kg satellite, which is about the size of a microwave oven, will be the first object to test the oval orbit NASA wants to use for its Gateway station.

Before making their trip to the lunar surface, astronauts would stage at Gateway.

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