Enhanced Mission to continue testing near-lunar communication and navigation technologies for months to come.
Advanced Space’s pioneering commercial satellite has completed its primary 6-month mission operating in the Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO) that will be utilized by the Gateway lunar space station. CAPSTONE’s enhanced mission will continue to focus on demonstrating lunar operations and navigation technology. To mark the end of the Primary Mission, Advanced Space is providing an update on the mission’s accomplishments. While the completion of the Primary Mission is a significant milestone, the CAPSTONE mission is not complete. The mission team, led by Advanced Space, is now planning and preparing to execute the “Enhanced Mission” phase, which will extend the CAPSTONE spacecraft’s time in the NRHO up to 12 months. (more…)
The CAPSTONE Mission Team has been busy continuing to operate the mission in its planned Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO). Thus far, since performing the NRHO insertion maneuver on November 13th, 2022, the spacecraft has spent 154 days operating in the NRHO completing 23 NRHO revolutions. During this time, the mission team has maintained knowledge of the spacecraft state well within the mission requirements using ground-based navigation tools and tracking measurements collected by the Deep Space Network including DSS-17 which is an affiliated site at Morehead State University in Kentucky. This navigation information has continued to support the design and execution of required maneuvers to maintain the orbit. Minimum maneuver size constraints have been sequentially reduced as the combined mission operations teams at Advanced Space, Terran Orbital, and Stellar Exploration continue to mitigate issues with a thruster valve. Since entering the NRHO the spacecraft has executed six Orbit Maintenance Maneuvers (OMM) using approximately 1.8 m/s of fuel. Although the mission plan was originally to do a maneuver every NRHO (approximately once a week), the higher burn threshold has reduced the number of maneuvers performed while also demonstrating the robustness of the stationkeeping strategy utilized by the mission which is the same strategy planned for the Lunar Gateway. (more…)
The CAPSTONE spacecraft continues to operate at the Moon and the vehicle is happy and healthy. The mission has accomplished 4 mission objectives and is making progress on additional objectives. Two mission objectives were completed during the transfer to the Moon and both directly informed Artemis 1 secondary payloads with regard to radio and ground station performance. (more…)
NASA’s investment in small business boosts the economy and enables the future of space exploration.
Westminster, CO – Advanced Space LLC., a leading space tech solutions company, is the first commercial entity to own an operational satellite at the Moon. CAPSTONE, the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, has finalized its insertion into a Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO). Now that history has been made, the small spacecraft is ready to begin operations for NASA in support of the Artemis program. This milestone also marks the beginning of the navigation experiment that will lay a foundation for future missions. Consistent with the company vision to enable the sustainable exploration, development, and settlement of space, Advanced Space has worked to support the Nation’s focus on returning to the Moon. CAPSTONE is tasked to understand the operational characteristics of the orbit, perform technology demonstrations to help reduce the risk for future spacecraft, and to validate innovative navigation technologies. (more…)
First spacecraft to enter the orbit for Gateway arrives to support NASA’s Artemis program.
Westminster, CO — Advanced Space LLC., a leading space tech solutions company, announced CAPSTONE successfully completed the initial insertion maneuver into a Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO) on Sunday, November 13th. Two smaller correction maneuvers will take place this week to ensure the spacecraft is confirmed into the complex lunar orbit. This NRHO is an orbit around the Moon that has never been flown before, and it is the intended orbit for the Gateway space station. NASA intends to use Gateway to support Artemis missions to the lunar surface. CAPSTONE is demonstrating how to get into this orbit; in the weeks to come, CAPSTONE will demonstrate and verify orbital operations in the NRHO for NASA. CAPSTONE is reducing risk for future spacecraft. (more…)
CAPSTONE made its initial insertion into the Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO) on Sunday, November 13th. Two smaller correction maneuvers will take place this week to ensure the spacecraft is confirmed into the complex lunar orbit. This NRHO is an orbit around the Moon that has never been flown before and it is the intended orbit for the Gateway space station. NASA intends to use Gateway to support Artemis missions to the lunar surface. CAPSTONE is the first CubeSat to fly to and operate at the Moon. (more…)