NASA Prepares to Try to Stop Capstone From Running

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The US space agency NASA is preparing for an attempt to stop the Capstone satellite from spinning and return to normal operation. Capstone is on his way to the moon.

NASA has done tests on the ground and in the spacecraft itself to stop spinning. It is unknown when NASA will make the attempt. The satellite started spinning on a maneuver to reverse course. Due to the rotation, the solar panels receive relatively little power and the satellite therefore went into Safe Mode. There is still contact with the satellite, something that was briefly not the case in July.

Capstone is an important first step for the Artemis lunar program. NASA plans to eventually launch a space station into orbit around the moon. That space station, the Lunar Gateway, should again form the basis for future manned moon missions. In preparation, the satellite needs to collect data about the specific elliptical orbit around the moon. For example, NASA wants to use measurements to find out how much fuel is needed to stay in the intended orbit around the moon.

The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment was launched from New Zealand on June 28 with a Rocket Lab rocket. Since then, the satellite has been on its way to the moon. It is expected to arrive there in November.

capstone. Source: NASA

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