Launches: CAPSTONE recovery efforts continue

Launches: Cubical spacecraft with wide solar panels in orbit over the moon.
Artist’s idea reveals Advance Space’s CAPSTONE lunar probe in flight across the moon. Mission controllers have regained partial management of the craft after it started tumbling following a trajectory correction on September 8, 2022. Read extra in Launches, beneath. Image by way of Advance Space.

Launches: CAPSTONE restoration continues

Attempts to regain management of the tumbling CAPSTONE (Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment) spacecraft took a flip for the higher after a week-long effort, as mission controllers at Advanced Space improved contact with the lunar probe following an anomaly throughout a trajectory maneuver on September 8, 2022, that despatched it spinning.

The mission staff supplied an replace on their progress Thursday (September 15, 2022), reporting headway in getting the craft again beneath management:

The communications scenario has dramatically improved, the ability state of the spacecraft seems to be enough for steady (obligation cycled) heating of the propulsion system which dropped beneath its operational temperature. Over the previous few days, CAPSTONE’s energy – although restricted by the orientation of the spacecraft in its spin relative to the solar – seems to be enough for heating of the propulsion system.

What went flawed with CAPSTONE?

Two days after the incident, Advanced Space made public the mission’s unsure standing and supplied this abstract of what appeared to go flawed:

The CAPSTONE spacecraft was executing a deliberate trajectory correction maneuver Thursday night, September eighth. We have since obtained telemetry that confirms the automobile suffered an anomaly close to the top of the deliberate maneuver and is at present in secure mode. The CAPSTONE mission staff has good data of the state and standing of the spacecraft. The anomaly decision has been enabled by the distinctive help of the staff at NASA’s Deep Space Network.

In the identical replace was extra excellent news:

The mission operations staff is in touch with the automobile and dealing to resolve the anomaly. As decision efforts progress, extra updates can be supplied. The spacecraft stays on its deliberate course to the moon.

Advanced Space gave a extra detailed report of the occasions leading to dropping management of CAPSTONE.

Bottom line: Controllers improved communications with the CAPSTONE spacecraft following a lack of management on September 8, 2022.

Read extra: Artemis 1: September 27 (or later) for subsequent launch try

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