The spacecraft, which launched on June 18, has successfully wrapped up its 60-day testing and calibration phase, according to NASA. The orbiter has begun sending back , along with data collected by its instruments.
The craft is orbiting about 31 miles above the surface of the moon, which is the closest that any spacecraft has orbited the moon, NASA said.
"The [orbiter] mission already has begun to give us new data that will lead to a vastly improved atlas of the lunar south pole and advance our capability for human exploration and scientific benefit," said Richard Vondrak, a project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in a statement.
The space agency is hoping that the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, along with its partner, the , will provide unprecedented detail about the moon. Along with mapping the surface, scientists are hoping to search for resources, like water, along with safe landing sites for future trips. The craft can also measure lunar temperatures and radiation levels.
NASA has been planning on putting by 2020 but those plans are in flux giving the current economic conditions and an of NASA space missions. that getting more information about moon will be key to any return there.