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Artykuły o CAPSTONE
« dnia: Luty 21, 2020, 09:40 »
NASA cubesat to test lunar Gateway orbit
by Jeff Foust — September 16, 2019


An illustration of CAPSTONE, a 12-unit cubesat that will test lunar navigation technologies and operations in the orbit planned for the lunar Gateway. Credit: Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems

WASHINGTON — NASA has awarded a contract to a small business for the development of a cubesat designed to demonstrate the use of the unique orbit planned for the agency’s lunar Gateway.

The $13.7 million contract to Colorado company Advanced Space covers the development of Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE), a 12-unit cubesat that the agency could launch as soon as the end of 2020.

The spacecraft will likely be the first spacecraft to use what’s known as a near-rectilinear halo orbit, an elliptical polar orbit around the moon whose closest point to the moon is over one pole and most distant point is over the other pole. NASA plans to use that orbit for the lunar Gateway, which will serve as a staging point for human landings near the south pole of the moon starting in 2024.

CAPSTONE will demonstrate that the orbit is stable for spacecraft, reducing what NASA calls “logistical uncertainty” for the Gateway. The spacecraft will also test a navigation system that will measure its position relative to NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and how that distance is changing over time, allowing the cubesat to measure its position without relying on ground stations.

“This mission is highly ambitious in both cost and schedule — and taking that deliberate risk is part of the objective of this mission — alongside the rapid technological advancement in cislunar navigation and the opportunity to verify orbital trajectory assumptions and retire unknowns for future missions,” Jim Reuter, associate administrator for space technology at NASA, said in a Sept. 13 statement announcing the CAPSTONE contract.

Partnering with Advanced Space on the mission is Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, a cubesat developer. Brad Cheetham, chief executive of Advanced Space, said Tyvak will provide the spacecraft while Advanced Space will handle overall project management and some of the spacecraft’s key technologies, like its navigation system.

Advanced Space has been working on lunar navigation technologies, including winning a Space Act Agreement with NASA in July for that system, called the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System (CAPS). That earlier agreement, Cheetham said, will support CAPS, and thus the CAPSTONE mission, by giving the company access to NASA expertise as well as resources from the Lunar Reconnaissance Mission.

“The CAPSTONE mission will be an opportunity to demonstrate core components of CAPS as well as other capabilities we have been working on,” he said. “We see this work as a pathfinder for NASA as well as future missions to the moon by others.”

How CAPSTONE makes it to lunar orbit remains uncertain. NASA’s statement said that the agency was considering a number of options, including launching the cubesat as a primary payload on a small launch vehicle. NASA anticipates the spacecraft reaching lunar orbit in three months for a six-month primary mission.

Cheetham said that NASA is responsible for procuring the launch. “I expect we will have more details on this aspect of the mission in the coming months,” he said.


Source: https://spacenews.com/nasa-cubesat-to-test-lunar-gateway-orbit/
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Odp: [SN] NASA cubesat to test lunar Gateway orbit
« Odpowiedź #1 dnia: Luty 21, 2020, 09:41 »
Rocket Lab wins contract to launch NASA lunar cubesat mission
by Jeff Foust — February 15, 2020


An Electron rocket will launch NASA's CAPSTONE lunar cubesat mission in early 2021 from Wallops Flight Facility under a $9.95 million contract awarded to Rocket Lab Feb. 14. Credit: Trevor Mahlmann

WASHINGTON — NASA awarded a contract to Rocket Lab Feb. 14 for the launch of a cubesat mission that will serve as a precursor for the agency’s planned lunar Gateway.

A Rocket Lab Electron will launch the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) satellite from the company’s Launch Complex 2 site at Wallops Island, Virginia, in early 2021. The contract for the dedicated launch is valued at $9.95 million.

CAPSTONE, a 25-kilogram satellite being built by Colorado-based Advanced Space under a $13.7 million contract awarded in September, will go into a near-rectilinear halo orbit around the moon, the same orbit proposed for the lunar Gateway. CAPSTONE will demonstrate the stability of that orbit, which has never been used by a spacecraft before, to support planning for the Gateway.

“CAPSTONE is a rapid, risk-tolerant demonstration that sets out to learn about the unique, seven-day cislunar orbit we are also targeting for Gateway,” Marshall Smith, director of human lunar exploration programs at NASA, said in an agency statement. “We are not relying only on this precursor data, but we can reduce navigation uncertainties ahead of our future missions using the same lunar orbit.”

Rocket Lab will use Photon, the satellite bus it is developing based on the Electron rocket’s kick stage, to place CAPSTONE on a trajectory to the moon. CAPSTONE will use its own propulsion system to enter orbit around the moon and maneuver into that near-rectilinear halo orbit, a process that will take three months.

In a company statement, Rocket Lab Chief Executive Peter Beck emphasized the flexibility a dedicated launch offered over flying the spacecraft as a secondary payload on a larger vehicle. “As a dedicated mission on Electron, we’re able to provide NASA with complete control over every aspect of launch and mission design for CAPSTONE, something typically only available to much larger spacecraft on larger launch vehicles,” he said.

The launch will not be Rocket Lab’s first mission for NASA. In December 2018 it launched 13 cubesats for NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative, a contract originally awarded to the company in 2015 as part of NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services program for using new small launch vehicles.

The launch will also be just the second mission to the moon launched from Wallops Flight Facility. In September 2013, Wallops hosted the launch of a Minotaur 5 rocket carrying NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, a mission that studied the tenuous lunar atmosphere and dust environment in orbit around the moon.


Source: https://spacenews.com/rocket-lab-wins-contract-to-launch-nasa-lunar-cubesat-mission/

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Odp: [SN] NASA cubesat to test lunar Gateway orbit
« Odpowiedź #2 dnia: Luty 21, 2020, 09:52 »
NASA picks Rocket Lab to launch lunar CubeSat mission
February 15, 2020 Stephen Clark


File photo of a Rocket Lab Electron booster lifting off from New Zealand. Credit: Rocket Lab / Sam Toms and Simon Moffatt

NASA announced Friday that Rocket Lab will launch a 55-pound (25-kilogram) CubeSat from Wallops Island, Virginia, toward the moon in early 2021 on a demonstration mission to test lunar navigation techniques and scout a unique elliptical orbit for the planned Gateway mini-space station.

The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE, mission will launch aboard a Rocket Lab Electron booster from the company’s new launch site at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia, NASA announced Friday.

Rocket Lab’s new launch pad in Virginia, designated Launch Complex 2, was completed last year and will be ready to support launches later this year. The company said the new facility will primarily support Electron missions with U.S. government payloads.

The launch contract with Rocket Lab — U.S.-based company that currently launches from New Zealand — has a value of $9.95 million, according to NASA. The CAPSTONE payload will receive a dedicated ride into space from Rocket Lab.

NASA last year contracted with Advanced Space, a company headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, to develop and operate the CAPSTONE CubeSat under a $13.7 million agreement.

The launch of the CAPSTONE mission next year will mark the second lunar mission to blast off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia.

NASA’s LADEE lunar probe launched in September 2013 from pad 0A at the Virginia spaceport on top of a Minotaur 5 rocket.

The CAPSTONE mission is a pathfinder for the lunar Gateway, a mini-space station NASA intends to use as a staging point for crewed lunar landings beginning as soon as 2024.

The commercially-built CAPSTONE CubeSat will conduct deep space navigation experiments and demonstrate maneuvers to enter and operate in a near rectilinear halo orbit, an elliptical orbit around the moon that will be home to the Gateway, a critical piece of NASA’s architecture to return humans to the lunar surface.

“This mission is all about quickly and more affordably demonstrating new capabilities, and we are partnering with small businesses to do it,” said Christopher Baker, small spacecraft technology program executive at NASA headquarters in Washington. “This is true from the perspective of CAPSTONE’s development timeline, operational objectives, navigation demonstration and its quickly procured commercial launch aboard a small rocket.”

The Trump administration has directed NASA to attempt a crewed lunar landing by the end of 2024. NASA has named the moon program Artemis, the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology.

Along with the Orion crew ferry capsule, the Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket, and a new human-rated lunar lander, the Gateway is a core component of NASA’s Artemis program.

“CAPSTONE is a rapid, risk-tolerant demonstration that sets out to learn about the unique, seven-day cislunar orbit we are also targeting for Gateway,” said Marshall Smith, director of human lunar exploration programs at NASA Headquarters. “We are not relying only on this precursor data, but we can reduce navigation uncertainties ahead of our future missions using the same lunar orbit.”



Artist’s concept of the CAPSTONE CubeSat. Credit: NASA

“We are very excited that NASA was able to select a launch provider on a tight timeline for CAPSTONE,” said Bradley Cheetham, CEO of Advanced Space, in response to an inquiry from Spaceflight Now. “We expect this will be the first of many small spacecraft missions to the Moon in support of Artemis and are proud to be first in line to demonstrate this exciting capability.”

Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket stands around 55 feet (17 meters) tall, shorter than even the Minotaur booster that sent NASA’s LADEE probe to the moon in 2013. Made of black carbon composite materials and powered by 3D-printed engines, the Electron can loft up to 330 pounds (150 kilograms) of payload into a 310-mile-high (500-kilometer) orbit, according to Rocket Lab.

The liftoff of the CAPSTONE CubeSat next year is expected to be Rocket Lab’s first launch toward the moon.

According to NASA, Rocket Lab’s Photon platform — an upgraded derivative of the company’s Curie kick stage — will give the CAPSTONE a boost toward the moon after separation from the two-stage Electron booster. CAPSTONE will have its own propulsion system to maneuver into orbit around the moon.

After a three-month journey, CAPSTONE will settle into its planned near rectilinear halo orbit, passing as close as 1,000 miles (1,500 kilometers) and as far as 43,500 miles (70,000 kilometers) from the moon.

“Small satellites like CAPSTONE will play a crucial role in supporting the return of human missions to the moon, and we’re proud to be supporting NASA in this unique and pivotal mission,” said Peter Beck, Rocket Lab’s founder and CEO. “As a dedicated mission on Electron, we’re able to provide NASA with complete control over every aspect of launch and mission design for CAPSTONE, something typically only available to much larger spacecraft on larger launch vehicles.

“In the same way we opened access to low Earth orbit for small satellites, we’re proud to be bringing the moon within reach to enable research and exploration,” Beck said.

The near rectilinear halo orbit comes with several advantages, according to NASA.

A station in such an orbit will have a continuous communications link with Earth, and it allows landers departing from the Gateway to reach any place on the lunar surface with only modest propellant usage.

A station like the Gateway is needed because the Orion spacecraft, which will carry crews to and from the vicinity of the moon, does not have the ability to maneuver directly into and out of a low-altitude lunar orbit, like the Apollo spacecraft did in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Gateway will serve as a staging base and safe haven for Artemis crews, where NASA envisions astronauts transferring from the Orion crew capsule into lunar landers heading to the moon’s surface.

The first element of the Gateway planned for launch is a power and propulsion module built by Maxar. It’s scheduled to lift off before the end of 2022.

CAPSTONE’s mission is to scout the Gateway’s planned orbit before the first module arrives in the vicinity of the moon.

NASA said Friday that Advanced Space and Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Inc. of Irvine, California, will start building and testing the CAPSTONE spacecraft after a final design review later this month.

Cheetham said mission planners have added larger solar arrays to the CAPSTONE spacecraft design since Advanced Space won the NASA contract to provide the CubeSat in September. Engineers also swapped a parabolic primary antenna to a more compact path array antenna design, he said.

Rocket Lab’s new launch pad in Virginia is located adjacent to pad 0A, where Northrop Grumman Antares rockets depart on resupply missions to the International Space Station.



Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 2 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia will become operational later this year. The CAPSTONE CubeSat mission will launch from Launch Complex 2 in early 2021. Credit: Rocket Lab

The Antares launcher is more than twice the height of Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket, but Rocket Lab’s launch manifest projections suggest the Electron will fly from Wallops much more often than the Antares’ regular launch cadence of two flights per year.

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport is run by the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, or Virginia Space, an organization created by the Virginia legislature to promote commercial space activity within the commonwealth. The spaceport now has three orbital-class launch facilities, one for Rocket Lab, one for the Antares rocket, and another used to launch solid-fueled Minotaur boosters.


Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/02/15/nasa-picks-rocket-lab-to-launch-lunar-cubesat-mission/

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Odp: Artykuły o CAPSTONE
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: Maj 18, 2022, 07:19 »
CAPSTONE lunar cubesat mission to launch this spring
by Jeff Foust — February 22, 2022 [SN]


CAPSTONE is expected to launch some time this spring on a Rocket Lab Electron and arrive in lunar orbit three months later, following a trajectory designed to minimize the required propellant. Credit: Advanced Space/Tyvak, a Terran Orbital Company

WASHINGTON — A cubesat mission to test a lunar orbit critical to NASA’s Artemis program is in the final stages of preparations for a launch this spring.

The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE, spacecraft is a cubesat mission that will test operations in the near-rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO) around the moon that will be used by Artemis missions, including the lunar Gateway. NASA selected Colorado-based Advanced Space to develop the mission in 2019.
https://spacenews.com/capstone-lunar-cubesat-mission-to-launch-this-spring/

CAPSTONE cubesat ready for cislunar mission
by Leonard David — April 14, 2022 [SN]


U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado (right) discusses the CAPSTONE cis-lunar mission with Jeffrey Parker, chief technology officer of Advanced Space, over a full-size CAPSTONE spacecraft model. Credit: Advanced Space/Jason Johnson

BOULDER, Colo. – NASA’s intention to replant bootprints on the moon is getting a kick-start by the launch of a microwave oven-sized smallsat, the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, called CAPSTONE for short.

Due for launch no earlier than May 3, CAPSTONE is owned and operated by Advanced Space of Westminster, Colorado. It is to be lofted from New Zealand aboard a Rocket Lab Electron rocket and sent moonward by Rocket Lab’s Lunar Photon upper stage.
https://spacenews.com/capstone-cubesat-ready-for-cislunar-mission/

CAPSTONE już jest na Launch Complex 1. Wkrótce rozpocznie się integracja ładunku.

CAPSTONE up next for Rocket Lab
by Jeff Foust — May 3, 2022 [SN]


The CAPSTONE lunar cubesat mission is now scheduled to launch as soon as May 27 on an Electron. Credit: Advanced Space/Tyvak, a Terran Orbital Company

WASHINGTON — A NASA lunar cubesat mission is now scheduled to launch in late May on a Rocket Lab Electron after resolving issues with the rocket’s kick stage.

In a call with reporters after the May 2 launch of an Electron rocket carrying 34 smallsats, Peter Beck, chief executive of Rocket Lab, said that the next Electron mission will be of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) cubesat for NASA. He did not give a date for the launch.

NASA previously projected a launch between May 3 and 15, but in an April 29 tweet, NASA’s Ames Research Center, which manages the mission, said the launch was now scheduled for no earlier than May.
https://spacenews.com/capstone-up-next-for-rocket-lab/

Mini-mission to blaze NASA’s trail back to the moon
June 27, 2022 Stephen Clark [SFN]


An engineer at Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems inspects solar arrays on NASA’s CAPSTONE spacecraft. Credit: NASA/Dominic Hart

NASA and commercial companies are ready to launch a 55-pound spacecraft from New Zealand to the moon Tuesday on a scouting mission to the orbit where engineers plan to assemble the Gateway mini-space station, a waypoint for astronauts flying to and from the lunar surface.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2022/06/27/mini-mission-to-blaze-nasas-trail-back-to-the-moon/

CubeSat launches on scouting mission for NASA’s Artemis moon program
June 28, 2022 Stephen Clark [SFN]


Rocket Lab’s Electron launcher fires off the pad in New Zealand with NASA’s CAPSTONE mission. Credit: Rocket Lab

NASA’s $30 million CAPSTONE mission lifted off Tuesday on a Rocket Lab launcher from New Zealand, heading on a circuitous but fuel-efficient four-month journey into a halo orbit around the moon to test navigation and operations concepts for the Artemis program.

The CAPSTONE mission is modest in scale but opens a new chapter in small satellite technology and is the first new spacecraft to launch under the umbrella of the Artemis program, NASA’s effort to return astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2022/06/28/capstone-cubesat-launches-on-scouting-mission-for-nasas-artemis-moon-program/

Electron launches CAPSTONE lunar cubesat
by Jeff Foust — June 28, 2022 [SN]


A Rocket Lab Electron lifts off June 28 with NASA's CAPSTONE lunar cubesat. Credit: NASA TV

WASHINGTON — An Electron rocket successfully launched a NASA-funded cubesat mission June 28 that will test the stability of the orbit around the moon the agency plans to use for future Artemis lunar missions.

The Electron rocket lifted off from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1B in New Zealand at 5:55 a.m. Eastern. The Electron deployed the Photon kick stage nine minutes after launch, which then fired its HyperCurie engine twice over an hour to raise its orbit.

Photon will perform a series of burns over five days, gradually raising the apogee of its orbit. A final burn six days after launch will place the vehicle on a ballistic lunar trajectory. Photon will then deploy its payload, NASA’s Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) cubesat.

CAPSTONE will follow a low-energy trajectory to the moon, entering into a near-rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO) around the moon Nov. 13. That trajectory is designed to minimize the propulsion needed by CAPSTONE, a 12U cubesat weighing 25 kilograms, to go into orbit.
https://spacenews.com/electron-launches-capstone-lunar-cubesat/

Rocket Lab sees payoff from CAPSTONE launch
by Jeff Foust — June 28, 2022 [SN]


Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck said the CAPSTONE mission pushed the limit of Electron’s capabilities. Credit: Rocket Lab

WASHINGTON — The successful launch of a NASA lunar cubesat mission was the culmination of two and a half years of work at Rocket Lab that, the company’s chief executive says, could enable “ridiculously low cost” planetary missions.
https://spacenews.com/rocket-lab-sees-payoff-from-capstone-launch/

CAPSTONE heads to the moon
by Jeff Foust — July 4, 2022 [SN]


Rocket Lab mission controllers monitor the performance of its Lunar Photon transfer stage before the deployment of the CAPSTONE lunar cubesat July 4. Credit: Rocket Lab

WASHINGTON — A NASA-funded lunar cubesat is on its way to the moon July 4 after a series of burns by a Rocket Lab transfer stage.

Rocket Lab’s Lunar Photon stage released the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) cubesat at 3:18 a.m. Eastern, shortly after the seventh and final burn by the Photon’s HyperCurie engine that placed the vehicles onto a ballistic lunar trajectory.
https://spacenews.com/capstone-heads-to-the-moon/

CAPSTONE suffers communications problem
by Jeff Foust — July 5, 2022 Updated 8:30 p.m. Eastern with Advanced Space statement.  [SN]


CAPSTONE, a cubesat designed to test the lunar orbit that future Artemis missions will use, lost contact with Earth during a second pass with the Deep Space Network after its July 4 deployment from the Lunar Photon vehicle. Credit: Advanced Space/Terran Orbital

WASHINGTON — A NASA lunar cubesat mission has lost contact with Earth a day after its deployment, putting into jeopardy its plans to demonstrate the orbit that will be used for later Artemis missions.
https://spacenews.com/capstone-suffers-communications-problem/

CAPSTONE communications restored
by Jeff Foust — July 6, 2022 [SN]


NASA and Advanced Space say that now that CAPSTONE has resumed communications and is in good condition, they will perform a trajectory correction maneuver July 7. Credit: Advanced Space/Terran Orbital

WASHINGTON — Spacecraft controllers have restored communications with a lunar cubesat that went silent shortly after its deployment earlier this week.

NASA and Advanced Space, the company operating the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) cubesat, said the spacecraft started transmitting again early July 6. The spacecraft stopped communicating about 11 hours after its July 4 deployment from Rocket Lab’s Lunar Photon transfer vehicle.
https://spacenews.com/capstone-communications-restored/

CAPSTONE probe overcomes radio glitch on course for moon
July 10, 2022 Stephen Clark [SFN]


Artist’s illustration of the CAPSTONE spacecraft near the moon. Credit: Terran Orbital

NASA’s CAPSTONE spacecraft, a miniature pathfinder for future lunar crew missions, has overcome a communications outage and performed its first course correction maneuver since a Rocket Lab propulsion module gave the probe a final push toward the moon July 4.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2022/07/10/capstone-probe-overcomes-communications-glitch-on-course-for-moon/
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