Author Topic: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)  (Read 75266 times)

Offline Comga

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February 14, 2020
CONTRACT RELEASE C20-005
NASA Awards Contract to Launch CubeSat to Moon from Virginia

 
Part of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, Launch Complex 2 is Rocket Lab’s second launch site for the Electron rocket. Rocket Lab will launch NASA’s Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) CubeSat mission to the Moon from the Virginia launch site in early 2021.

NASA has selected Rocket Lab of Huntington Beach, California, to provide launch services for the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) CubeSat.

Rocket Lab, a commercial launch provider licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration, will launch the 55-pound CubeSat aboard an Electron rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. After launch, the company’s Photon platform will deliver CAPSTONE to a trans-lunar injection. The engine firing will allow the CubeSat to break free of Earth’s gravity and head to the Moon. Then, CAPSTONE will use its own propulsion system to enter a cislunar orbit, which is the orbital area near and around the Moon. The mission is targeted for launch in early 2021 and will be the second lunar mission to launch from Virginia.
   
Updated illustration of NASA’s CAPSTONE CubeSat. The spacecraft design has changed since the mission contract award in September 2019.

“NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) is pleased to provide a low-cost launch service for CAPSTONE and to work with Rocket Lab on this inaugural NASA launch from their new launch site at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia,” said Ana Rivera, LSP program integration manager for CAPSTONE at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. LSP will manage the launch service.

“This mission is all about quickly and more affordably demonstrating new capabilities, and we are partnering with small businesses to do it,” said Christopher Baker, Small Spacecraft Technology program executive at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “This is true from the perspective of CAPSTONE’s development timeline, operational objectives, navigation demonstration and its quickly procured commercial launch aboard a small rocket.”

Following a three-month trip to the Moon, CAPSTONE will enter a near rectilinear halo orbit, which is a highly elliptical orbit over the Moon’s poles, to verify its characteristics for future missions and conduct a navigation demonstration with NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. CAPSTONE will serve as a pathfinder for the lunar spaceship Gateway, a key component of NASA’s Artemis program.

“CAPSTONE is a rapid, risk-tolerant demonstration that sets out to learn about the unique, seven-day cislunar orbit we are also targeting for Gateway,” said Marshall Smith, director of human lunar exploration programs at NASA Headquarters. “We are not relying only on this precursor data, but we can reduce navigation uncertainties ahead of our future missions using the same lunar orbit.”

The firm-fixed-price launch contract is valued at $9.95 million. In September, NASA awarded a $13.7 million contract to Advanced Space of Boulder, Colorado, to develop and operate the CubeSat.

After a final design review this month, Advanced Space and Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Inc. of Irvine, California, will start building and testing the spacecraft.

CAPSTONE is managed by NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology program within the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. Advanced Exploration Systems within NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate supports the launch and mission operations.

To learn more about NASA’s Launch Services Program, visit:
https://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets/index.html
To learn more about NASA's investments in space technology, visit:
https://www.nasa.gov/spacetech
-end-

Edit: now mid-2021
« Last Edit: 06/28/2022 10:37 am by Galactic Penguin SST »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Comga

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Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops Early 2021
« Reply #1 on: 02/14/2020 08:32 pm »
Part of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, Launch Complex 2 is Rocket Lab’s second launch site for the Electron rocket. Rocket Lab will launch NASA’s Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) CubeSat mission to the Moon from the Virginia launch site in early 2021.
Credits: Rocket Lab


Updated illustration of NASA’s CAPSTONE CubeSat. The spacecraft design has changed since the mission contract award in September 2019.
Credits: NASA
« Last Edit: 02/14/2020 11:45 pm by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops Early 2021
« Reply #2 on: 02/14/2020 08:43 pm »
https://twitter.com/jimbridenstine/status/1228433451273113600

Quote
Exciting news! Early next year a CubeSat will launch to the Moon from @NASA_Wallops. We quickly procured a commercial launch aboard a rocket for this low-cost mission. @RocketLab will launch the CubeSat to the same cislunar orbit targeted for Gateway: go.nasa.gov/37x1h8l

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops Early 2021
« Reply #3 on: 02/14/2020 09:02 pm »
twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1228438639337594880

Quote
We are beyond proud to be selected as the launch provider for @NASA's CAPSTONE mission, sending a satellite into orbit around the Moon using Electron and Photon. go.nasa.gov/2HpNdTD

https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1228438933672849408

Quote
In the same way we opened access to LEO for smallsats, we're excited to become the dedicated ride to the Moon & beyond for smallsats.

Offline Markstark

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Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops Early 2021
« Reply #4 on: 02/14/2020 11:10 pm »
This is a really neat mission. Love that small stats and low cost rockets are being leverage for precursor Gateway missions.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops Early 2021
« Reply #5 on: 02/14/2020 11:28 pm »
Congratulations to RocketLab for winning the launch contract!

Here's a higher resolution image of CAPSTONE.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Online TrevorMonty

Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops Early 2021
« Reply #6 on: 02/15/2020 08:18 am »
Photon may have enough surplus performance to do an additional mission in lunar vicinty.

Online AnalogMan

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Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops Early 2021
« Reply #7 on: 02/18/2020 07:35 pm »
Source selection document for the CAPSTONE launch contract has been posted today.

https://beta.sam.gov/opp/22748a2309224d488cfe9ec9f933be59/view

Proposals were submitted by:

Firefly Black, LLC. (Firefly)
Momentus Inc. (Momentus)
Northrop Grumman Space Systems, (NG Space)
Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Rocket Lab)
Spaceflight, Inc. (Spaceflight)
Virgin Orbit, LLC. (Virgin Orbit)

Copy of document is attached.

Offline magicsound

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Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops Early 2021
« Reply #8 on: 02/18/2020 07:50 pm »
Love this line in the award doc:
"NAICS Code: 481212 - Nonscheduled Chartered Freight Air Transportation"

Offline jamesh9000

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Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops Early 2021
« Reply #9 on: 02/18/2020 10:53 pm »
That award document is one of the most interesting things I've read all year, thank you for providing it.

In particular the quote from the part dealing with Momentus' bid: "The first significant weakness was due to the proposed launch vehicle core stage propulsion systems (engines and stages) being in the early development stage. The associated test schedule poses significant risk to completing development and qualification making it unlikely that they
will meet the launch period requirement. "

This is the most professional way of saying "there's not a chance they're going to launch by that date" I've ever seen. I think I might keep that quote on hand for a lot of the press releases from new rocket companies we see around here  ;D

Finally, that man who wrote that report has clearly written CAPSTONE way too many times.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops Early 2021
« Reply #10 on: 03/08/2020 06:18 pm »
https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1236726153051688960

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Heading to #SATELLITE2020? Join us on Wednesday for a session about our upcoming mission to lunar orbit for NASA. We can't wait to share the details of this exciting mission with you.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops Early 2021
« Reply #11 on: 04/22/2020 10:01 pm »
Really interesting trajectory for this mission, which Peter Beck describes in his most recent MECO podcast interview.

8 orbit raising burns, over several days, before TLI ... Accuracy has to be spot on to get benefit of lunar gravity.
« Last Edit: 04/22/2020 10:02 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Online TrevorMonty

Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops Early 2021
« Reply #12 on: 04/23/2020 11:07 am »
Really interesting trajectory for this mission, which Peter Beck describes in his most recent MECO podcast interview.

8 orbit raising burns, over several days, before TLI ... Accuracy has to be spot on to get benefit of lunar gravity.
They record for accurate orbit insertion so far has been excellent, this mission will really put Photon navigation to test.


Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops Early 2021
« Reply #13 on: 05/02/2020 10:35 pm »
Cross-post:

https://twitter.com/peter_j_beck/status/1256712933322588160

Quote
Here is what Photon Lunar looks like! This platform can also deliver small payloads to Mars,Venus and other exciting places.

Online TrevorMonty

Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops Early 2021
« Reply #14 on: 05/02/2020 10:47 pm »
Cross-post:

https://twitter.com/peter_j_beck/status/1256712933322588160

Quote
Here is what Photon Lunar looks like! This platform can also deliver small payloads to Mars,Venus and other exciting places.
ELectron+Photon is ideal for supplying GPS and comms relay smallsats to lunar orbit. Something the crew and cargo landers will need to support their missions.


Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops Early 2021
« Reply #15 on: 06/17/2020 12:15 pm »
https://twitter.com/lorengrush/status/1273224700655796224

Quote
Before all the DM-2 craziness, I had a chance to talk with Amanda Stiles at Rocket Lab about the company’s first lunar mission, set for next year. She provided some details about the upgraded Photon spacecraft and the company’s interplanetary ambitions. theverge.com/21292753/rocke…

Quote
How small launcher Rocket Lab plans to pull off its first mission to the Moon next year
Moving beyond Earth orbit to lunar orbit

By Loren [email protected]  Jun 17, 2020, 8:00am EDT

Rocket Lab is known for launching tiny satellites into Earth, but the company has big plans to venture deeper into space, with its first mission to the Moon set for next year. Thanks to a contract with NASA, Rocket Lab will send a small spacecraft called CAPSTONE into orbit around the Moon to test out how to navigate in lunar orbit and help human missions to the Moon in the future.

https://www.theverge.com/21292753/rocket-lab-nasa-capstone-moon-mission-photon-hypercurie-engine

Online TrevorMonty

Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops Early 2021
« Reply #16 on: 07/15/2020 12:13 pm »
https://twitter.com/Peter_J_Beck/status/1283240984688508930?s=19

NZ government should get onboard with Artemis program, we could pay for lunar comms smallsat eg Photon bus. Spend the money in country and boost our space technology.
« Last Edit: 07/15/2020 12:16 pm by TrevorMonty »

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops mid-2021
« Reply #17 on: 08/03/2020 04:45 pm »
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1290324622341222402

Quote
NASA’s Christopher Baker says at a NASA town hall meeting during the virtual #SmallSat conference that they’re now planning a mid-2021 launch for the CAPSTONE cubesat mission to the orbit the lunar Gateway will use. Total cost less than $30M.

Offline jamesh9000

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Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops mid-2021
« Reply #18 on: 11/24/2020 06:10 am »
Hi folks, I just got back from a Christchurch Aerospace meetup where Peter Beck Zoomed in and talked about what Rocket Lab is up to. I think just about everything he said was already known (there was nothing new about the recovered stage that hasn't already been talked about), but one thing he mentioned was that the capstone mission would be launching in April 2021. I'm pretty sure I haven't heard anything more accurate than "mid 2021" so I figured I'd pass it along.

He also mentioned that the spacecraft would do a super low pass over the moon, getting really close high res shots before heading out into a heliocentric orbit.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CAPSTONE: TLI from Wallops mid-2021
« Reply #19 on: 12/11/2020 05:43 pm »
https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1337467385654087681

Quote
Photon is getting ready to go to the Moon! Spacecraft qualification is underway for the Photon that will transport @NASA’s CAPSTONE satellite into a unique lunar orbit that no other spacecraft has explored before. Learn more: bit.ly/3m9qxcl

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