NASA’s CAPSTONE Executes Trajectory Correction Maneuver – Pinpoints Path to Moon

CAPSTONE Flying to Moon

The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE, is a CubeSat that will fly a unique orbit around the Moon intended for NASA’s future Artemis lunar outpost Gateway. Its six-month mission will help launch a new era of deep space exploration. Credit: NASA Ames Research Center

NASA’s Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) spacecraft successfully completed its second trajectory correction maneuver starting at about 11:30 a.m. EDT (8:30 a.m. PDT) Tuesday.

CAPSTONE will perform several such maneuvers during its four-month-long journey to lunar orbit to refine its trajectory to the Moon. The next trajectory correction maneuver is targeted for late July. CAPSTONE is taking a long but fuel-efficient route to the Moon, flying about 958,000 miles (1.54 million kilometers) from Earth before looping back around to its near rectilinear halo orbit.

CAPSTONE in Orbit Near Moon

CAPSTONE in orbit near the Moon: Once released from Rocket Lab’s Photon satellite bus, CAPSTONE will use its propulsion system to travel for approximately four months before entering into orbit around the Moon. Credit: Illustration by NASA/Daniel Rutter

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. After CAPSTONE’s successful deployment and start of commissioning on July 4, the spacecraft experienced communications issues while in contact with the Deep Space Network (DSN). The mission team, led by Advanced Space, re-established contact with CAPSTONE at 9:26 a.m. EDT (6:26 a.m. PDT) on July 6. The mission team was able to determine the root cause of the communications problem, and on July 7 successfully completed its first trajectory correction maneuver.

1 Comment on "NASA’s CAPSTONE Executes Trajectory Correction Maneuver – Pinpoints Path to Moon"

  1. Congratulations on restoration of communication. Root cause!😊😊

    Some thoughts.

    1. Using the gravitational force of nearby planetary bodies, stars and other known/unknown { Dark matter ?😊} mass , with gravitational force, to travel in space.Useful fir interstellar space travel.

    2. Using hydrogen available in space to speed up the time taken to travel to the moon and other satellites and rocky planets.

    3.Communications. Emulate the particle which appears to have instantaneous information regardless of where it is in the universe.

    Views expressed are personal and not binding on anyone.😊😊😊

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