CAPSTONE enters safe mode during trajectory correction maneuver

PARIS — A NASA-funded cubesat mission to the moon has gone into secure mode after struggling an issue throughout a trajectory correction maneuver, the company mentioned Sept. 10.

The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) spacecraft was performing its third trajectory correction maneuver on Sept. 8 when it encountered an unspecified drawback late within the burn, NASA mentioned in a short assertion. That difficulty put the spacecraft right into a protecting secure mode.

“The CAPSTONE mission team has good knowledge of the state and status of the spacecraft,” NASA mentioned within the assertion. “The mission operations team is in contact with the spacecraft and working towards a solution with support from the Deep Space Network.”

NASA issued the assertion a number of hours after satellite tv for pc observers seen uncommon exercise on the Deep Space Network related to CAPSTONE, with a number of antennas on the community’s Goldstone, California, facility trying to speak with the spacecraft. That habits appeared much like what occurred when the spacecraft encountered a communications drawback shortly after its deployment in July.

CAPSTONE is a NASA-funded mission to check operations within the near-rectilinear halo orbit across the moon that the company plans to make use of for the Artemis lunar exploration marketing campaign, together with the lunar Gateway. The spacecraft may also take a look at its skill to find out its place autonomously whereas in that orbit. CAPSTONE gained the Small Satellite Mission of the Year award on the annual Small Satellite Conference in August.

CAPSTONE is owned and operated by Colorado-based Advanced Space. “The anomaly resolution has been enabled by the exceptional support of the team at the Deep Space Network,” the corporate mentioned in its personal assertion. “The mission operations team is in contact with the vehicle and working to resolve the anomaly.”

Advanced Space handles operations of CAPSTONE together with Terran Orbital, which constructed the spacecraft. Rocket Lab launched CAPSTONE in June on its Electron rocket, injecting it right into a ballistic lunar switch trajectory on its Lunar Photon kick stage. It is scheduled to enter orbit across the moon Nov. 13.

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