NASA notes that CAPSTONE suffered some kind of problem near the end of a trajectory correction maneuver.
NASA ‘s Moon probe , CAPSTONE , runs into more than one problem on its journey to the satellite.
At the moment, the mission is in safe mode after a problem was found in a trajectory correction maneuver on September 8.
What is happening with CAPSTONE?
The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment ( CAPSTONE ) spacecraft was performing its third trajectory correction maneuver on September 8 when it encountered an unspecified problem at the end of the burn, the space agency said.
This problem put the spacecraft in a safe protection mode.
“The CAPSTONE mission team has a good understanding of the status and status of the spacecraft,” NASA said in the statement. “The mission operations team is in contact with the spacecraft and working to find a solution with the support of the Deep Space Network.”
NASA issued the statement several hours after satellite observers noticed unusual activity on the network associated with CAPSTONE , with multiple antennas at the network facility in Goldstone, California attempting to communicate with the spacecraft.
That behavior seemed similar to what happened when the spacecraft encountered a communications problem shortly after its deployment in July.
MISSION UPDATE: #CAPSTONE is still in safe mode following an issue last week. Work is ongoing to diagnose the cause of the issue. The spacecraft remains on the intended trajectory and on course to its orbit at the Moon: https://t.co/2VasgvckFo pic.twitter.com/gNNXuhTlwV
— NASA Ames (@NASAAmes) September 13, 2022
Why is CAPSTONE important?
CAPSTONE is a NASA-funded mission to test operations in the near-rectilinear halo orbit around the moon that the agency plans to use for the Artemis lunar exploration campaign, including Gateway, the manned orbital base.
The spacecraft will also test its ability to autonomously determine its position while in that orbit.