NASA’s tiny lunar probe, Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology’s Operating and Navigation Experiment or CAPSTONE, remains in stable condition on the way to the Moon, the agency and Advanced Space said. the owner and operator of the mission, in an update.
The Moon-bound spacecraft performed a planned course correction maneuver on September 8, after which the spacecraft entered safe mode. While work is underway to return the spacecraft to its normal state, it is power positive, meaning it generates more power from its solar panels than the spacecraft’s systems use. .
Here’s what Advanced Space said in its latest mission update:
“The CAPSTONE mission team continues to work toward regaining full three-axis control of the spacecraft. This work includes gathering information from the spacecraft, running simulations, and refining recovery plans. The vehicle remains stable and power-positive in its current configuration.”
CAPSTONE is owned by Advanced Space on behalf of NASA and was designed and built by Terran Orbital. Spacecraft operations are performed jointly by Advanced Space and Terran Orbital teams.
The CAPSTONE mission launched on June 28, 2022 aboard a Rocket Lab Electron rocket from the company’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. The mission is designed to test the dynamics of a Near-Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO) by demonstrating how to enter and operate in this special orbit.
Once CAPSTONE reaches its intended destination, the spacecraft will orbit in this area around the Moon for at least six months to understand the characteristics of the orbit.
MISSION UPDATE: #CAPSTONE remains in stable condition en route to the Moon. Teams continue to collect information, run simulations, and refine plans for recovery of the spacecraft’s orientation control. Get the latest updates: https://t.co/KPzT9i8edu pic.twitter.com/EfxPHWpwOv
— NASA Ames (@NASAAmes) September 30, 2022