CAPSTONE Team Regains Attitude Control of Spacecraft – No Longer Tumbling Through Space

CAPSTONE Mission to Moon Animation

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The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE, is a CubeSat that can fly a singular orbit across the Moon supposed for NASA’s future Artemis lunar outpost Gateway. Its six-month mission will assist launch a brand new period of deep area exploration. Credit: NASA Ames Research Center

On Friday, October 7, CAPSTONE workforce members efficiently executed an operation to cease the spacecraft’s spin. This clears a serious hurdle in returning the spacecraft to regular operations.

Following a deliberate trajectory correction maneuver on September 8, CAPSTONE suffered a problem that put the spacecraft in secure mode. It was quickly found that the spacecraft was spinning past the capability of the onboard response wheels to regulate and counter. According to information from the spacecraft, the most definitely trigger was a valve-related situation in one of many spacecraft’s eight thrusters. The partially open valve meant the defective thruster generated thrust every time the propulsion system was pressurized. After extensively reviewing telemetry and simulation information, the mission workforce performed a number of exams on the spacecraft as a way to formulate a plan to cease the spacecraft’s spin regardless of this situation.

On Friday morning, restoration instructions have been executed. It seems that the maneuver was profitable, in accordance with preliminary telemetry from CAPSTONE and commentary information, which point out the spacecraft has stopped its spin and regained full 3-axis perspective management. This means CAPSTONE’s place may be managed with out unplanned rotation. CAPSTONE has now oriented its photo voltaic arrays to the Sun to maximise energy era. It has additionally adjusted the pointing of its antennas to offer a greater information connection to Earth.

The dangers of this anomaly and restoration course of have been substantial, and the workforce labored extensively and collaboratively to mitigate these dangers. Over the approaching days, the workforce will proceed to observe the spacecraft’s standing and make any wanted changes to procedures as a way to account for and mitigate the results of the partially open thruster valve. In order to scale back threat for future maneuvers, the mission workforce additionally will attempt to design potential fixes for this valve-related situation.

CAPSTONE stays on observe to insert into its focused close to rectilinear halo orbit on the Moon on November 13.

CAPSTONE – quick for Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment – is owned by Advanced Space on behalf of NASA. The spacecraft was designed and constructed by Terran Orbital. Operations are carried out collectively by groups at Advanced Space and Terran Orbital.

Read the total replace from Advanced Space. Additional updates will likely be offered, as accessible.