CAPSTONE lunar satellite turned on safe mode

The CAPSTONE spacecraft heading to the moon has entered safe mode. This was due to the problems that arose during the course correction carried out on September 8.

Goals and objectives of the CAPSTONE satellite

The CAPSTONE satellite was developed by Advanced Space and Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems by order of NASA. It is built on the basis of the CubeSat platform (12U), its weight is 25 kg. The main purpose of the CAPSTONE mission is to check the orbit on which the projected Gateway lunar station is planned to be placed in the future.

Infographic dedicated to the CAPSTONE mission

CAPSTONE also has a second task. The satellite should test an autonomous navigation system that will determine its position relative to the LRO probe without the help of ground stations.

Switching to Safe Mode

CAPSTONE was launched by an Electron rocket at the end of June. Shortly after the deployment of solar panels, NASA lost contact with it. Fortunately, the contact was quickly restored. After that, CAPSTONE made two successful course corrections necessary for its entry into the target orbit.

On September 8, the device started performing the third correction. According to NASA, at the end of the maneuver, CAPSTONE had technical problems, after which it switched to safe mode. So far, the aerospace administration has not disclosed the essence of the problems with the device. In a brief official statement, it is emphasized that steady contact is maintained with CAPSTONE, and mission specialists are already looking for a solution to the problem using NASA’s Deep Space Communications Network.

According to

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