Live Coverage Begins for CAPSTONE Launch

Live coverage has begun of the launch of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) spacecraft from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand, where the launch will take place, and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. CAPSTONE serves as a pathfinder for the orbit planned for Gateway – the future lunar space station astronauts will visit during NASA’s Artemis missions.

A Rocket Lab Electron rocket stands ready to carry CAPSTONE to space, with an instantaneous launch opportunity at 5:55 a.m. EDT (09:55 UTC). Follow the launch live on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

CAPSTONE Launch Day Weather Forecast: 75% Favorable

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. 

A graphic featuring the CAPSTONE mission patch, along with text: Launch Weather Update. Weather Conditions: Mainly fine weather expected for T-0. Thick mid-high cloud is expected to reduce as the count progresses. Winds N-NE gusting 4-6 meters per second (m/s), possibly increasing to 12-14 m/s close to T-0. Weather = 75% go for launch.
Click to expand. Credit: Rocket Lab

 

CAPSTONE Launch Targeting June 28

NASA, Rocket Lab, and Advanced Space are targeting June 28 for the launch of the CAPSTONE mission. The instantaneous launch opportunity is at 5:55 a.m. EDT (09:55 UTC). Live coverage will begin at 5 a.m. EDT on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

CAPSTONE’s trajectory design means that the spacecraft will arrive at its lunar orbit on Nov. 13 regardless of launch date within the current period, which offers launch opportunities every day through July 27.

Learn more about CAPSTONE.

CAPSTONE Launch No Longer Targeting June 27

NASA, Rocket Lab, and Advanced Space are standing down from the June 27 launch attempt for the CAPSTONE mission to the Moon to allow Rocket Lab to perform final systems checks.

Teams are evaluating weather and other factors to determine the date of the next launch attempt. The next launch opportunity within the current period is on June 28. CAPSTONE’s trajectory design means that the spacecraft will arrive at its lunar orbit on Nov. 13 regardless of launch date within the current period, which offers launch opportunities every day through July 27.

Learn more about CAPSTONE.

CAPSTONE Spacecraft Launch Targeted No Earlier Than June 27

NASA, Rocket Lab, and Advanced Space are now targeting June 27, 2022, for the launch of the CAPSTONE mission to the Moon, allowing teams more time for rocket preparations. CAPSTONE’s trajectory design means that the spacecraft will arrive to its lunar orbit on Nov. 13 regardless of launch date within the current period, which runs through July 27.

CAPSTONE Spacecraft Launch Targeted No Earlier Than June 25

NASA, Rocket Lab, and Advanced Space are currently targeting no earlier than June 25, 2022, for the launch of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 (LC-1) on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand. Learn more about this ambitious mission flying a new path to the Moon.

CAPSTONE Mission Launch No Longer Targeting June 13

NASA, Rocket Lab, and Advanced Space are no longer targeting June 13 for the launch of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE, mission to the Moon. Flight software is being updated. A revised schedule will be provided as soon as possible.

Since arriving in New Zealand, CAPSTONE was successfully fueled and integrated with the Lunar Photon upper stage by teams from Rocket Lab, Terran Orbital, and Stellar Exploration. CAPSTONE and Photon have been encapsulated in the payload fairing.

CAPSTONE Spacecraft Launch Targeted No Earlier Than June 13

NASA, Rocket Lab, and Advanced Space are currently targeting no earlier than June 13, 2022, for the launch of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 (LC-1) on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand. This launch date will support readiness checks for final launch and the Photon satellite bus. Learn more about this ambitious mission flying a new path to the Moon.

CAPSTONE Spacecraft Launch Targeted No Earlier Than June 6

NASA, Rocket Lab, and Advanced Space are currently targeting no earlier than June 6, 2022, for the launch of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE, mission from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 (LC-1) on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand. We will continually evaluate the date for the first target launch attempt within the launch period, which extends to June 22.

CAPSTONE Spacecraft Arrives at Launch Site in 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.

Electron launch vehicle on the pad at Launch Complex 1 for wet dress rehearsal
Electron launch vehicle on the pad at Launch Complex 1 for wet dress rehearsal ahead of the CAPSTONE launch for NASA and Advanced Space. Image credit: Rocket Lab.