CAPSTONE Spacecraft Update: Progress Toward Recovery Operation

CAPSTONE in Orbit Near Moon

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CAPSTONE in orbit near the Moon: Once launched from Rocket Lab’s Photon satellite bus, CAPSTONE will utilize its propulsion system to take a trip for roughly 3 months prior to participating in orbit around theMoon Credit: Illustration by NASA/Daniel Rutter

On the night of September 8, the CAPSTONE spacecraft carried out a prepared trajectory correction maneuver. Near completion of that maneuver a concern happened that put CAPSTONE into safe mode. Subsequently, navigation information exposed that the spacecraft was toppling and objective controllers found that the onboard computer system systems were occasionally resetting. Initial healing efforts concentrated on enhancing solar energy and heating of the propulsion system to bring back temperature levels to above the functional limitation

Over the previous week, the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) spacecraft had the ability to enhance thermal conditions for the propellant and other important systems while preserving favorable power generation. In preparation for an effort to stop CAPSTONE’s spin, the operations group has actually been carrying out ground and spacecraft screening. When preparations and screening are completed, this operation– which would bring back the spacecraft to typical operation status– will be tried.

Updates will be offered as they appear.

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