The CAPSTONE mission team is continuing to work towards recovery of the spacecraft orientation control. This work includes collecting information from the spacecraft, running simulations, and refining recovery plans. CAPSTONE is power positive – meaning it is generating more power from its solar panels than the spacecraft systems are using – and remains in a stable condition on track to the Moon.
The weather forecast for Tuesday, June 28, is 75% favorable for launch of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) mission on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket. The instantaneous launch opportunity is at 5:55 a.m. EDT (09:55 UTC) with liftoff from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand.
The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE, spacecraft safely arrived at the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 (LC-1) on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand ahead of its launch. The launch window opens May 31 and extends through June 22. Rocket Lab completed the launch rehearsal, and with the spacecraft now at the launch site, will begin payload integration with the Electron rocket and Photon spacecraft bus.
NASA, Rocket Lab, and Advanced Space are currently targeting no earlier than May 31, 2022, for the launch of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE, mission. We will continually evaluate the date for the first target launch attempt within the launch period, which extends to June 22.
The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE, spacecraft which will chart a new path for NASA’s Moon-orbiting space station Gateway, just started its journey. On May 9, it shipped from Terran Orbital Corporation in Irvine, California, to its launch site at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 (LC-1) on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand.
CAPSTONE is expected to arrive at the Mahia Launch Complex in the next few days in preparation for a launch no earlier than May 2022. It will launch on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket using a Lunar Photon satellite upper stage to send the spacecraft into a never-been-tested near rectilinear halo orbit around the Moon.