Launches: CAPSTONE’s Recovery Effort Continues

Artist concept shows ‘pre-space’ capstone Lunar probe on a trip around the moon. Mission controllers partially regained control of the craft after it began descending after a course correction on September 8, 2022. Read more in the launches, below. image via advanced space.


Attempts to regain control of the landing capstone (Cislunar Autonomous GPS Technology Operations and Navigation Experience) The spacecraft took a turn for the better after a week-long effort, as mission controllers in advanced space Improved communication with the lunar probe after an anomaly during last week’s trajectory maneuver (September 8, 2022) caused it to spin.

Made a mission team Modernization On their progress Thursday (September 15, 2022), reporting on progress in retaking the vehicle:

The mode of communications has improved significantly, and the power state of the spacecraft seems to be sufficient for continuous heating (duty circulation) of the propulsion system, which has fallen below operating temperature. Over the past few days, it appears that CAPSTONE’s power – although restricted by the spacecraft’s orientation in its rotation relative to the Sun – is sufficient to heat the propulsion system.

What went wrong with CAPSTONE?

Two days after the accident, Advanced Space announced the mission’s uncertain status and submitted to it this summary What appears to be an error:

The CAPSTONE spacecraft was carrying out a planned course correction maneuver on the evening of Thursday, September 8. We’ve since obtained telemetry confirming that the vehicle experienced an anomaly near the end of the planned maneuver and is currently in safe mode. The CAPSTONE mission team has a good knowledge of the condition and condition of the spacecraft. The anomaly’s resolution was enabled by the team’s exceptional support at NASA’s Deep Space Network.

In the same update was more good news:

The mission operations team is in contact with the vehicle and is working to resolve the anomaly. As the resolution efforts progress, more updates will be made available. The spacecraft is still on its planned course to the Moon.

Advanced Space gave more details Report of the events that led to the loss of control of CAPSTONE.

Conclusion: The controllers improved communications with the CAPSTONE spacecraft after losing control on September 8, 2022.

Read more: Artemis 1: 27 September (or later) for our next launch attempt