Author Topic: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)  (Read 73862 times)

Online Svetoslav

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Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #240 on: 07/05/2022 02:13 pm »
It would be interesting if Rocket Lab's Photon could somehow help resolve the CAPSTONE issues.

How?  It just an upper stage.

It's an upgraded upper stage that can function on its own like a satellite.

A meaningless point. Even if there were another satellite on the mission, it doesn't mean it would be able to do anything relative to CAPSTONE.

I didn't say it will do something relative to CAPSTONE. CAPSTONE is set to explore the unique lunar orbit for the Gateway. Photon, on the other side, tests the hardware of Rocket Lab to travel beyond LEO. It's important, because Peter Beck wants to go to Venus. The only thing I did was disputing your claim that it's "just an upper stage". It's more than that. A lot more. 

Offline edzieba

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Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #241 on: 07/05/2022 03:43 pm »
It would be interesting if Rocket Lab's Photon could somehow help resolve the CAPSTONE issues.

How?  It just an upper stage.

It's an upgraded upper stage that can function on its own like a satellite.

A meaningless point. Even if there were another satellite on the mission, it doesn't mean it would be able to do anything relative to CAPSTONE.
Photon is like the old Agenas: a satellite bus and upper stage in one. Photon would not be able to test CAPS - lacking the radio for that particular function - but it would still be able to enter NRHO and monitor orbit stability (using ground-based positioning). Not a full CAPSTONE replacement, but able to accomplish a portion of the mission.

Whether it can get to NRHO at this point would depend on how soon a decision to do so would need to be made with whatever delta V it has remaining, and how soon a contract could be drafted with Rocket Lab to do so (since they have their own mission they want to accomplish with Photon that they would need to cancel). Getting to NRHO would be a solid 'maybe', but getting a contract ready in time seems unlikely.
If a constraint is added that nothing would happen until efforts to recover CAPSTONE (if indeed there is a problem in the first place, which is not confirmed) had been deemed as failed, then using Photon as a NRHO demonstrator seems even less likely.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #242 on: 07/05/2022 04:28 pm »
twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1544357423871414273

Quote
And an update from NASA: after deployment Monday, CAPSTONE “experienced communications issues while in contact with the Deep Space Network. The spacecraft team currently is working to understand the cause and re-establish contact.”

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1544357627488092162

Quote
More: “The team has good trajectory data for the spacecraft based on the first full and second partial ground station pass with the Deep Space Network. If needed, the mission has enough fuel to delay the initial post separation trajectory correction maneuver for several days.”
« Last Edit: 07/05/2022 04:29 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Jim

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Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #243 on: 07/05/2022 06:03 pm »
It would be interesting if Rocket Lab's Photon could somehow help resolve the CAPSTONE issues.

How?  It just an upper stage.

It's an upgraded upper stage that can function on its own like a satellite.

A meaningless point. Even if there were another satellite on the mission, it doesn't mean it would be able to do anything relative to CAPSTONE.

I didn't say it will do something relative to CAPSTONE. CAPSTONE is set to explore the unique lunar orbit for the Gateway. Photon, on the other side, tests the hardware of Rocket Lab to travel beyond LEO. It's important, because Peter Beck wants to go to Venus. The only thing I did was disputing your claim that it's "just an upper stage". It's more than that. A lot more.

No, still just an upper stage

Offline sanman

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Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #244 on: 07/05/2022 06:05 pm »
Read about CAPSTONE comms issues:

http://spaceref.com/missions-and-programs/nasa/nasa-capstone-mission-experiences-comms-issue.html

Does this in any way reflect on Rocket Lab's portion of the mission? Or is this some software problem on the CAPSTONE payload?

Offline Jim

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Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #245 on: 07/05/2022 06:11 pm »
Read about CAPSTONE comms issues:

http://spaceref.com/missions-and-programs/nasa/nasa-capstone-mission-experiences-comms-issue.html

Does this in any way reflect on Rocket Lab's portion of the mission? Or is this some software problem on the CAPSTONE payload?

Nothing to do with Rocketlab

Offline jimvela

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Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #246 on: 07/05/2022 06:11 pm »
Read about CAPSTONE comms issues:

http://spaceref.com/missions-and-programs/nasa/nasa-capstone-mission-experiences-comms-issue.html

Does this in any way reflect on Rocket Lab's portion of the mission? Or is this some software problem on the CAPSTONE payload?

Isn't CAPSTONE flying a RocketLab provided Frontier Lite radio (Same as what's on the Photon?)
RocketLab is a significant component supplier aside from being a launch services and launch vehicle provider.

Offline jimvela

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Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #247 on: 07/05/2022 06:15 pm »
No, still just an upper stage

Photon is an upper stage- but like the old Agena it is more than that.

Photon is being marketed as a host platform for  customer payloads, and RocketLab has had success in this regard.
They have ambitions to extend Photon for interplanetary and deep-space missions as well.

To discount the Photon as merely an upper stage isn't really correct, though for this particular mission it is true.  RocketLab completed its launch service on this program when CAPSTONE separated from the Photon.
« Last Edit: 07/05/2022 06:21 pm by jimvela »

Online TrevorMonty

Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #248 on: 07/05/2022 08:10 pm »
It would be interesting if Rocket Lab's Photon could somehow help resolve the CAPSTONE issues.

How?  It just an upper stage.

It's an upgraded upper stage that can function on its own like a satellite.

A meaningless point. Even if there were another satellite on the mission, it doesn't mean it would be able to do anything relative to CAPSTONE.
Photon is like the old Agenas: a satellite bus and upper stage in one. Photon would not be able to test CAPS - lacking the radio for that particular function - but it would still be able to enter NRHO and monitor orbit stability (using ground-based positioning). Not a full CAPSTONE replacement, but able to accomplish a portion of the mission.

Whether it can get to NRHO at this point would depend on how soon a decision to do so would need to be made with whatever delta V it has remaining, and how soon a contract could be drafted with Rocket Lab to do so (since they have their own mission they want to accomplish with Photon that they would need to cancel). Getting to NRHO would be a solid 'maybe', but getting a contract ready in time seems unlikely.
If a constraint is added that nothing would happen until efforts to recover CAPSTONE (if indeed there is a problem in the first place, which is not confirmed) had been deemed as failed, then using Photon as a NRHO demonstrator seems even less likely.
Photon should have DV and comms to enter NRHO but designing course correction burns isn't 5 minute job. It was on same trajectory as Capstone but RL may have changed that by now to achieve close flyby of moon for photo shot.

Be surprised if RL, NASA and Capstone team aren't seriously considering this option now.
« Last Edit: 07/21/2022 01:39 am by zubenelgenubi »

Offline jimvela

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Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #249 on: 07/05/2022 09:04 pm »
Read about CAPSTONE comms issues:

http://spaceref.com/missions-and-programs/nasa/nasa-capstone-mission-experiences-comms-issue.html

Does this in any way reflect on Rocket Lab's portion of the mission? Or is this some software problem on the CAPSTONE payload?

Isn't CAPSTONE flying a RocketLab provided Frontier Lite radio (Same as what's on the Photon?)
RocketLab is a significant component supplier aside from being a launch services and launch vehicle provider.

Looks like I'm incorrect.  CAPSTONE has an IRIS for primary communications.
I'm not sure what radio is used for S-band communications.
https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraft/display.action?id=CAPSTONE

The "telecomunications Information for CAPSTONE" page has no other information present.

The RL press kit notes the IRIS as well:
https://www.rocketlabusa.com/assets/Uploads/CAPSTONE-Press-Kit3.pdf
(Page 10)
« Last Edit: 07/05/2022 09:07 pm by jimvela »

Offline Comga

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Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #250 on: 07/05/2022 09:11 pm »
It would be interesting if Rocket Lab's Photon could somehow help resolve the CAPSTONE issues.

How?  It just an upper stage.

It's an upgraded upper stage that can function on its own like a satellite.

A meaningless point. Even if there were another satellite on the mission, it doesn't mean it would be able to do anything relative to CAPSTONE.

I didn't say it will do something relative to CAPSTONE. CAPSTONE is set to explore the unique lunar orbit for the Gateway. Photon, on the other side, tests the hardware of Rocket Lab to travel beyond LEO. It's important, because Peter Beck wants to go to Venus. The only thing I did was disputing your claim that it's "just an upper stage". It's more than that. A lot more.

No, still just an upper stage

This is a good time to dispute a statement from Jim.
Actually, it’s not apparent why he should insist on something so semantic.
There is a gradual transition from upper stage to satellite. Having subsystems not needed to get the payload to orbit, is much of what I would include in that. Just look at some of the rideshare OTV’s, most of which release some payloads but keep others snd provide services to them like attitude control.
Take solar cells instead of batteries.
One (Jim?) could argue that the Capstone launch took place over a week, so solar cells were just a more efficient way to power an upper stage for the required duration.
But if these are included with, say, momentum wheels to supplant ACS thrusters, and higher power comms to communicate from the last apogee before TLI, it’s a pretty capable satellite.  It might be used solely as an upper stage, and one could keep that designation even if it flies some long, complex trajectory after releasing its payload, but it’s sure looking like a spacecraft.
Should it depend on what they do with it later, like possibly returning photos of the Moon?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Comga

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Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #251 on: 07/05/2022 09:20 pm »
Read about CAPSTONE comms issues:

http://spaceref.com/missions-and-programs/nasa/nasa-capstone-mission-experiences-comms-issue.html

Does this in any way reflect on Rocket Lab's portion of the mission? Or is this some software problem on the CAPSTONE payload?

Isn't CAPSTONE flying a RocketLab provided Frontier Lite radio (Same as what's on the Photon?)
RocketLab is a significant component supplier aside from being a launch services and launch vehicle provider.

Looks like I'm incorrect.  CAPSTONE has an IRIS for primary communications.
I'm not sure what radio is used for S-band communications.
https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraft/display.action?id=CAPSTONE

The "telecomunications Information for CAPSTONE" page has no other information present.

The RL press kit notes the IRIS as well:
https://www.rocketlabusa.com/assets/Uploads/CAPSTONE-Press-Kit3.pdf
(Page 10)

This brings up another question:
What is the advantage of having the Capstone microsat built, instead of adding functionality to Photon? 
Beyond adding the IRIS, what else would be needed for Photon to demonstrate the NRHO?
Could RL even been asked to add IRIS to this Photon as backup to Capstone?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline jimvela

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Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #252 on: 07/05/2022 09:22 pm »
Should it depend on what they do with it later, like possibly returning photos of the Moon?

It's a fuzzy line to be sure...
A free-flying photon that goes on to do an extended mission, doing maneuvers, communicating, and possibly returning additional observations or data, is most certainly not "just an upper stage."

It deployed a spacecraft as part of a launch, so clearly Photon is an upper stage in the classical sense.

The rest looks like an respectable small upper stage that has been transforming into a hosted payload carrier, tug, and interplanetary mission platform. Just like RL has said it would.

Online Svetoslav

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Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #253 on: 07/05/2022 09:28 pm »
Interesting piece on SpaceNews:

https://spacenews.com/capstone-suffers-communications-problem/

Quote
Beck noted that Lunar Photon could, for example, enter the same halo orbit that CAPSTONE plans to use. “A piece of cake,” he said when asked about that scenario. “We have plenty of propellant for that, so if required, we could do that, no problem.”

Here's your answer. If CAPSTONE is gone, Rocket Lab is ready to do NASA's mission if required.

Offline Toast

Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #254 on: 07/05/2022 09:41 pm »
It would be interesting if Rocket Lab's Photon could somehow help resolve the CAPSTONE issues.

How?  It just an upper stage.

It's an upgraded upper stage that can function on its own like a satellite.

A meaningless point. Even if there were another satellite on the mission, it doesn't mean it would be able to do anything relative to CAPSTONE.

I didn't say it will do something relative to CAPSTONE. CAPSTONE is set to explore the unique lunar orbit for the Gateway. Photon, on the other side, tests the hardware of Rocket Lab to travel beyond LEO. It's important, because Peter Beck wants to go to Venus. The only thing I did was disputing your claim that it's "just an upper stage". It's more than that. A lot more.

No, still just an upper stage

This is a good time to dispute a statement from Jim.
Actually, it’s not apparent why he should insist on something so semantic.
There is a gradual transition from upper stage to satellite. Having subsystems not needed to get the payload to orbit, is much of what I would include in that. Just look at some of the rideshare OTV’s, most of which release some payloads but keep others snd provide services to them like attitude control.
Take solar cells instead of batteries.
One (Jim?) could argue that the Capstone launch took place over a week, so solar cells were just a more efficient way to power an upper stage for the required duration.
But if these are included with, say, momentum wheels to supplant ACS thrusters, and higher power comms to communicate from the last apogee before TLI, it’s a pretty capable satellite.  It might be used solely as an upper stage, and one could keep that designation even if it flies some long, complex trajectory after releasing its payload, but it’s sure looking like a spacecraft.
Should it depend on what they do with it later, like possibly returning photos of the Moon?
You're missing the point Jim was making. It's not that Photon doesn't have satellite-like functionality, it's that for this particular mission and payload Photon was just serving an upper stage. Photon has already separated from CAPSTONE, and thus there is nothing Photon can do to resolve the current issues with CAPSTONE.

Offline Comga

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Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #255 on: 07/05/2022 09:44 pm »
Interesting piece on SpaceNews:

https://spacenews.com/capstone-suffers-communications-problem/

Quote
Beck noted that Lunar Photon could, for example, enter the same halo orbit that CAPSTONE plans to use. “A piece of cake,” he said when asked about that scenario. “We have plenty of propellant for that, so if required, we could do that, no problem.”

Here's your answer. If CAPSTONE is gone, Rocket Lab is ready to do NASA's mission if required.

Sorry, but that’s not an answer to my question.
It can enter the orbit but it cannot communicate with LRO to do the navigation experiment.

The question is why did NASA chose not to add that capability to Photon, which was flight proven to a great degree?
It seems much simpler than building Capstone.

This is somewhat like the discussion in the Psyche thread.
The mission is having problems with its imager functioning at the cold operating temperature due to distortion of the Primary mirror.
The quote is that the NASA team is trying to solve this by using “different materials and bonding”.
This was solved decades ago by specifically avoiding disparate materials and all bonding.
NASA seems to always want to “reinvent the wheel”.
Augmenting Photon seems a less risky evolution.



(Toast: That’s obvious, but in his brevity Jim fails to express that clearly.)
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline jimvela

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Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #256 on: 07/05/2022 09:46 pm »
This brings up another question:
What is the advantage of having the Capstone microsat built, instead of adding functionality to Photon? 

Funds development of a start-up and their supplier, who could in theory be providers for future NASA missions.

Quote
Beyond adding the IRIS, what else would be needed for Photon to demonstrate the NRHO?
Could RL even been asked to add IRIS to this Photon as backup to Capstone?

Frontier Lite- which I still believe is the radio on this Photon- is similar to the IRIS. 

As I  understand it, RocketLab has miniaturized/cost-reduced/performance enhanced the APL Frontier deep space radio.  The Frontier is a really awesome radio, so this would be a great way to demonstrate what the Frontier Lite can do (If I'm not wrong again about what radio is in the Photon)

What RL could do with this photon in the extended mission is probably driven more by the capabilities of their ground station(s) at this point.

And to directly address Comga's question:  Although the Frontier Lite is an SDR, I do not believe that it has firmware available to facilitate the communication with LRO, and even if it did then there would need to be a way to support that firmware along with the primary communication back to the RL ground segment.   Because the Frontier is a fully deep space- capable radio with ranging support, perhaps there are meaningful navigation capabilities that could be demonstrated still in an extended mission.  The big limitation on the Photon side will be transmit power and available antennas.


« Last Edit: 07/05/2022 09:53 pm by jimvela »

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #257 on: 07/05/2022 09:58 pm »
Interesting piece on SpaceNews:

https://spacenews.com/capstone-suffers-communications-problem/

Quote
Beck noted that Lunar Photon could, for example, enter the same halo orbit that CAPSTONE plans to use. “A piece of cake,” he said when asked about that scenario. “We have plenty of propellant for that, so if required, we could do that, no problem.”

Here's your answer. If CAPSTONE is gone, Rocket Lab is ready to do NASA's mission if required.

Sorry, but that’s not an answer to my question.
It can enter the orbit but it cannot communicate with LRO to do the navigation experiment.

The question is why did NASA chose not to add that capability to Photon, which was flight proven to a great degree?
It seems much simpler than building Capstone.

This is somewhat like the discussion in the Psyche thread.
The mission is having problems with its imager functioning at the cold operating temperature due to distortion of the Primary mirror.
The quote is that the NASA team is trying to solve this by using “different materials and bonding”.
This was solved decades ago by specifically avoiding disparate materials and all bonding.
NASA seems to always want to “reinvent the wheel”.
Augmenting Photon seems a less risky evolution.



(Toast: That’s obvious, but in his brevity Jim fails to express that clearly.)

Correct, Photon won't be able to do the positioning demonstration with LRO. But it could demonstrate NRHO and fuel usage to maintain that orbit. Putting Photon into NRHO would be doing something desperate to salvage some of the mission, not being able to complete it entirely.

...

The CAPSTONE mission was awarded in September 2019, Photon did not perform a demonstration flight until June 2020, so no, a flight proven Photon was not an option for it.
« Last Edit: 07/05/2022 10:02 pm by whitelancer64 »
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline Comga

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Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #258 on: 07/05/2022 10:06 pm »
This brings up another question:
What is the advantage of having the Capstone microsat built, instead of adding functionality to Photon? 

Funds development of a start-up and their supplier, who could in theory be providers for future NASA missions.

Right
NASA interfering with the free market
Rocketlab is a commercial supplier who has developed launch and orbital capabilities on their own, capabilities which NASA needs.
Yet NASA is finding a much less capable company to compete with them.
It adds risk for NASA, and disadvantages entrepreneurial development.
This is also happening with NASA buying launces on small, unflown rockets and some groups efforts to fund an alternative lunar landing system.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Electron : CAPSTONE : LC-1 : 28 June 2022 (09:55 UTC)
« Reply #259 on: 07/05/2022 10:09 pm »
This brings up another question:
What is the advantage of having the Capstone microsat built, instead of adding functionality to Photon? 

Funds development of a start-up and their supplier, who could in theory be providers for future NASA missions.

Right
NASA interfering with the free market
Rocketlab is a commercial supplier who has developed launch and orbital capabilities on their own, capabilities which NASA needs.
Yet NASA is finding a much less capable company to compete with them.
It adds risk for NASA, and disadvantages entrepreneurial development.
This is also happening with NASA buying launces on small, unflown rockets and some groups efforts to fund an alternative lunar landing system.

NASA interfered with the free market by awarding SpaceX - on the verge of collapse as a company, with a majority track record of failed launches - an ISS resupply contract. I'm sure you're not complaining about that.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

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