On Thursday, October 27, CAPSTONE successfully completed a trajectory correction maneuver, teeing up the spacecraft’s arrival to lunar orbit on November 13.
CAPSTONE is no longer in safe mode following an issue in early September that caused the spacecraft to spin. A valve-related issue in one of the spacecraft’s eight thrusters was identified by the team as the most likely cause of the problem. The mission team will design future maneuvers to take into account the affected valve. This includes the two remaining trajectory correction maneuvers scheduled before CAPSTONE’s arrival to orbit at the Moon.
Following its launch on June 28, CAPSTONE orbited Earth attached to Rocket Lab’s Photon upper stage, which maneuvered it into position for its journey to the Moon. CAPSTONE’s successful deployment and start of commissioning occurred on July 4. On July 7, NASA’s CAPSTONE successfully completed its first trajectory correction maneuver.
CAPSTONE – short for Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment – is owned by Advanced Space on behalf of NASA. The spacecraft was designed and built by Terran Orbital. Operations are performed jointly by teams at Advanced Space and Terran Orbital.