Rocket Lab Successfully Raises Orbit a Fourth Time For NASA’s CAPSTONE Moon Mission

Illustration of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE). (Credit: Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Robert Lab USA, Inc. PR) — Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, today confirmed its Photon Lunar spacecraft has successfully brought the CAPSTONE satellite for NASA closer to the Moon with the completion of its fourth orbit raising maneuver.

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The Small Businesses Behind CAPSTONE Are Paving Our Path to the Moon

CAPSTONE in orbit around the moon. (Credit: NASA)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — The upcoming Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) mission will be the first spacecraft to fly a unique orbit around the Moon that will be used for Gateway, NASA’s future Moon-orbiting outpost. Gateway is an international collaboration working with commercial partners to establish a long-term human presence in deep space. Similarly, CAPSTONE – a mission owned and operated by Advanced Space, LLC in Westminster, Colorado – is made possible by collaborations with small businesses across the country, showing how NASA works with innovators in its future exploration endeavors.

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Rocket Lab Prepares to Launch CAPSTONE Mission to the Moon for NASA

Rocket Lab will launch a microwave oven-sized CubeSat dubbed CAPSTONE to a never-before-flown orbit around the Moon, blazing a new efficient deep space route that NASA hopes to use for future human spaceflight missions

Electron Launch Vehicle at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 for the NASA CAPSTONE lunar mission. (Image Credit: Business Wire)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Rocket Lab USA, Inc. PR) — Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, is preparing to launch a satellite to the Moon for NASA as early as June 27th.

The launch will take place from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. The launch window opens 09:50 UTC on June 27th (21:50 NZST, June 27th). Back-up opportunities are available through July 27th to accommodate potential weather or technical delays to the launch.

Designed and built by Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, a Terran Orbital Corporation, and owned and operated by Advanced Space on behalf of NASA, the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) CubeSat will be the first spacecraft to test the Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO) around the Moon. Researchers expect this orbit to be a gravitational sweet spot in space – where the pull of gravity from Earth and the Moon interact to allow for a nearly-stable orbit – allowing physics to do most of the work of keeping a spacecraft in orbit around the Moon. NASA has big plans for this unique type of orbit. The agency hopes to park bigger spacecraft – including the lunar-orbiting space station Gateway – in an NRHO around the Moon, providing astronauts with a base from which to descend to the lunar surface as part of the Artemis program.

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NASA Sets Live Launch Coverage for CAPSTONE Mission to Moon

CAPSTONE (Credit: Terran Orbital)

NASA Mission Update

NASA will air live launch coverage of the agency’s Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE), the first spacecraft to fly a specific unique lunar orbit ahead of future missions with crew.

CAPSTONE is targeted to launch no earlier than Monday, June 27, aboard a Rocket Lab Electron rocket from the company’s Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand. The instantaneous launch opportunity is at 6 a.m. EDT (10:00 UTC). Live coverage will begin at 5 a.m. on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

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Terran Orbital Ships Two GeoOptics Satellites to Cape Canaveral for Integration Ahead of SpaceX’s Transporter-5 Mission

BOCA RATON, Fla. (Terran Orbital Corporation PR) — Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP), a global leader in satellite solutions, primarily serving the United States aerospace and defense industry, today announced it shipped two next-generation satellites from GeoOptics, a global leader in remote Earth observation. Terran shipped the vehicles to Cape Canaveral for launch on SpaceX’s Transporter-5 mission.

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Lockheed Martin To Deliver 42 Small Satellites For Space Development Agency

A Lockheed Martin employee is seen working on a Transport Layer model with the help of digital transformation tools. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

Approx. $700 Million Tranche 1 award expands initial SDA Transport Layer demonstration constellation

LITTLETON, Col., Feb. 28, 2022 (Lockheed Martin PR) – The Space Development Agency (SDA) has awarded Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) a prototype agreement with a potential value of approximately $700 million to design and build 42 small satellites. These satellites are part of Tranche 1, the initial warfighting capability of the agency’s Transport Layer, which will connect space with other domains on Earth in a highly capable, networked environment of Joint All-Domain Operations.

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Advanced Space Completes Milestone Testing for its Mission to the Moon

Illustration of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE). (Credit: Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems)

Mission will be the first to future Artemis Operation Orbit

WESTMINSTER, Colo., Feb. 18, 2022 (Advanced Space PR) — Advanced Space LLC., a leading commercial space tech solutions company, had a successful test last week for CAPSTONE, a NASA-funded mission to the Moon. Advanced Space owns and operates the CAPSTONE mission, a trailblazing pathfinder for the Gateway. The Gateway, a lunar orbiting outpost, will support NASA’s Artemis missions that will establish a long-term human presence at the Moon. CAPSTONE is the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment. It will help reduce risk for future spacecraft by validating innovative technologies and verifying the dynamics of the Earth-Moon halo orbit where the Gateway will operate.

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Terran Orbital Delivers Small Satellite into Operational Orbit for EchoStar

Tyvak nanosatellite (Credit: Terran Orbital)

BOCA RATON, Fla. and ENGLEWOOD, Colo. December 6, 2021 (Terran Orbital PR) – Terran Orbital Corporation (Terran Orbital), a global leader and pioneer in the development, innovation and operation of small satellites and earth observation solutions, announced today the successful stationing of the EchoStar Global 3 small satellite into its final operational orbit. Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc. (Tyvak), a subsidiary of Terran Orbital, designed, manufactured, and operates the satellite on behalf of EchoStar Corporation (Nasdaq: SATS), a premier global provider of satellite communication solutions.

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Fleet Space to Launch Constellation of World’s First Fully 3D Printed Satellites

Internet of Things satellite (Credit: Fleet Space Technologies)
  • Fleet Space reveals growth strategy following $26.4m (USD) investment 
  • Fleet to unlock high speed connectivity for everything with unlimited data services anywhere
  • Alpha satellites will be the world’s first constellation of fully 3D printed satellites
  • The first Alpha satellites are planned to launch in 2022, with high speed global continuous connectivity coverage planned by 2026
  • Alpha will enable Fleet to deliver services on new frequency bands serving more markets and use cases than ever before
  • Tech to accelerate radical efficiencies unlocked by Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Bold new strategy is endorsement of and commitment to Australia’s space industry
  • Fleet to unlock high speed connectivity for everything, unlimited data services anywhere

SYDNEY, Australia (Fleet Space PR) — “It is Fleet Space’s vision that everyone, everywhere, has access to unlimited connectivity, no matter where they are on the globe; in cities, remote regions, on land or navigating the oceans. Our recent Series B investment empowered us to realise this vision by embarking on a bold new strategy. This new chapter in our story is led by the development of a new constellation of satellites named Alpha, which will work in harmony with our existing Centauri constellation. Alpha represents a major step forward and the first time a satellite has been created entirely through 3D-printing.”

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AFRL Uses Expedited Acquisition Process in Latest Spacecraft Contract Award

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL PR) — The Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate awarded an $8.4 million contract to Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc. to support the directorate’s Precise flight experiment projected for launch in 2024.

“The Precise flight experiment represents a new orbital regime for AFRL in Very Low Earth Orbit,” said Dr. Rachel Hock-Mysliwiec, Precise program manager. “This experiment builds on more than 50 years of AFRL investigation into the physics of the upper atmosphere.”

Hock-Mysliwiec elaborated that the experiment will study ionization processes in the region of ionized gas, between 90 and 600 kilometers altitude.

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Tyvak, a Terran Orbital Company, Announces Successful Commissioning of Tyvak-0130 Satellite in Partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Composite false-color image of the Andromeda galaxy created by stacking 12 Medium FOV channel images for a total exposure of 19.2 seconds. This image demonstrates the exceptional stability obtained by the Tyvak-0130 satellite. (Credit: Tyvak)

IRVINE, Calif., June 17, 2021 (Tyvak PR) — Tyvak, a Terran Orbital Company is pleased to announce the successful completion of in-orbit system checkout and commissioning of its Tyvak-0130 satellite. These necessary check points begin soon after launch and focus primarily on testing the satellite’s essential systems and protocols. Tyvak-0130 was launched as a rideshare on SpaceX Starlink L-26 on May 15, 2021 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and has already transmitted over 4,000 pictures back to earth.

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SpaceX Launches 52 Starlink Satellites, 2 Secondary Payloads

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 52 Starlink satellites on May 15, 2021. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — On Saturday, May 15 at 6:56 p.m. EDT, SpaceX launched 52 Starlink satellites, a Capella Space Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite, and Tyvak-0130 from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

This was the eighth launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously launched NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station, ANASIS-II, CRS-21, Transporter-1, and three Starlink missions.

Innovative Propulsion System Gets Ready to Help Study Moon Orbit for Artemis

CAPSTONE’s propulsion system undergoes environmental testing. Environmental testing ensures that spacecraft systems can operate after being launched into space and in the space environment. (Credits: Stellar Exploration Inc.)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — In 2021, NASA’s Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE, CubeSat will launch to a never-before-used cislunar orbit near the Moon.

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Rocket Lab Set for 19th Electron Launch

Electron launches with OHB satellite. (Credit: Rocket Lab webcast)

Rocket Lab Launch Update

Mission Name: They Go Up So Fast
Launch Vehicle: Electron
Launch Window: No Earlier than 23 March NZT/22 March UTC
Launch Time: No earlier than 11:20 am NZT/22:20 UTC/6:20 p.m. EDT
Launch Site: Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

Rocket Lab’s 19th Electron mission will deploy a range of satellites for commercial and government satellite operators, as well as place a next-generation Rocket Lab Photon spacecraft in orbit to build spacecraft heritage ahead of Rocket Lab’s mission to the Moon for NASA later this year. 

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