UNITED STATES: After experiencing a malfunction during a trajectory correction manoeuvre, the agency announced a NASA-funded CubeSat mission to the moon into safe mode on September 10.
On September 8, while executing its third trajectory correction manoeuvre, the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) spacecraft ran into an unidentified issue, according to a brief statement from NASA. The problem forced the spacecraft to go into a safe, defensive mode.
According to NASA, the CAPSTONE mission crew has a good understanding of the state and status of the spacecraft. “With assistance from the Deep Space Network, the mission operations team is in communication with the spacecraft and working towards a resolution,” NASA added.
Many antennas at the Deep Space Network’s Goldstone, California, station were trying to contact the spacecraft, which caused unusual activity on the network, satellite observers discovered several hours after NASA released the notification.
This behaviour appeared to match what occurred when the spacecraft encountered a communication problem shortly after being deployed in July.
The Artemis lunar exploration campaign, which includes the lunar Gateway, will use the near-rectilinear halo orbit around the moon, which the NASA-funded CAPSTONE mission will test. While in that orbit, the spacecraft will test its capacity to determine its position on its own. At the annual Small Satellite Conference in August, CAPSTONE took home the prize for Small Satellite Mission of the Year.
Advanced Space, based in Colorado, is the owner and operator of CAPSTONE. According to the company’s statement, the Deep Space Network team’s extraordinary support has made it possible to resolve anomalies. According to the statement, the mission operations team is in touch with the vehicle and attempting to fix the issue.