NASA’s CAPSTONE Launch to Moon Delayed – Spacecraft Will Be First To Fly Unique Lunar Orbit - SciTechDaily

NASA’s CAPSTONE Launch to Moon Delayed – Spacecraft Will Be First To Fly Unique Lunar Orbit - SciTechDaily

NASA’s CAPSTONE Launch to Moon Delayed – Spacecraft Will Be First To Fly Unique Lunar Orbit - SciTechDaily
Jun 27, 2022 1 min, 5 secs

Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket sits on the pad at the company’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand for wet dress rehearsal ahead of the CAPSTONE launch.

NASA, Rocket Lab, and Advanced Space are standing down from the June 27 launch attempt for the CAPSTONE mission to the Moon to allow Rocket Lab to perform final systems checks.

The mission was slated to launch on Monday, June 27, aboard a Rocket Lab Electron rocket from the company’s Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand.

Teams are evaluating weather and other factors to determine the date of the next launch attempt.

The next launch opportunity within the current period is on June 28.

CAPSTONE’s trajectory design means that the spacecraft will arrive at its lunar orbit on November 13 regardless of launch date within the current period, which offers launch opportunities every day through July 27.

Six days after launch, the Photon upper stage will release CAPSTONE into space for the first portion of the spacecraft’s solo flight.

After a four-month journey to the Moon, CAPSTONE will test the dynamics of the NRHO for at least six months, helping reduce risk for future spacecraft.

CAPSTONE will also demonstrate innovative spacecraft-to-spacecraft navigation technology and one-way ranging capabilities that could help future spacecraft fly near the Moon with reduced need for communication with Earth.

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