CAPSTONE team members install solar panels onto the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment – at Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Inc. in Irvine, California.
Credits: NASA/Dominic Hart


Looks like good news for that newly launched NASA Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) CubeSat.

During commissioning activities an anomaly was experienced related to the communication subsystem; the operations team began actively working the issue with the NASA Deep Space Network and identified a path forward.

Artwork depicts CAPSTONE spacecraft in a near rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO) around the moon.
Credit: NASA/Advanced Space

Recovery procedures

From Advanced Space, owner and operator of the micro-explorer:

In the last 24 hours the CAPSTONE team has identified the “likely cause” of the communications anomaly and has been working to recover from the issue. This work has included rapid engineering support and resources from many different mission partners. We are extremely grateful for this team effort and want to express our appreciation to all of those involved.

Jeffrey Parker, chief technology officer of Advanced Space (left) explains the CAPSTONE mission to U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper over a full-size model of the spacecraft.
Credit: Advanced Space/Jason Johnson

As of approximately 7:26 AM MT this morning, the operations team began receiving signal from the spacecraft. The signal confirmed the location of the spacecraft was consistent with the predictions generated from the initial acquisition activities. The team worked subsequent recovery procedures to obtain telemetry from the spacecraft at approximately 8:18 AM MT and initial indications suggest the spacecraft systems are functioning properly.

Happy and healthy

The team will continue with this work and once the communications system is fully recovered the team will review spacecraft status and telemetry to monitor for any addition issues since the communications outage began. Initial data from the spacecraft suggests that it is happy and healthy.

Rebecca Rogers, systems engineer, left, takes pre-launch dimension measurements of the CAPSTONE spacecraft at Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc., in Irvine, California.

Once the system is determined to be back to operational capacity and a new state estimate has been obtained an updated trajectory correction maneuver will be designed and uploaded to the spacecraft for execution.

This is still a very dynamic situation, added Advanced Space, and as things progress further updates and corrections will be shared as appropriate.

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