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 Launch of CAPSTONE Mission Delayed

A project funded by NASA’s Small Business Technology Transfer program could help improve the efficiency of solar cells for space missions and use on Earth. Here, a team member installs solar panels onto the CAPSTONE spacecraft – short for Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment – before its launch to the Moon. (Image Credit: NASA/Dominic Hart)

NASA Mission Update

NASA, Rocket Lab, and Advanced Space are no longer targeting June 13 for the launch of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE, mission to the Moon. Flight software is being updated. A revised schedule will be provided as soon as possible.

Since arriving in New Zealand, CAPSTONE was successfully fueled and integrated with the Lunar Photon upper stage by teams from Rocket Lab, Terran Orbital, and Stellar Exploration. CAPSTONE and Photon have been encapsulated in the payload fairing.

Terran Orbital Ships CAPSTONE Satellite to New Zealand to Prepare for Integration into Rocket Lab Launch Vehicle

CAPSTONE satellite (Credit: Terran Orbital)

Designed and built by Terran Orbital, CAPSTONE will support NASA’s Artemis program in reducing the risk for future Lunar bound spacecraft while propelling space exploration for all humankind

IRVINE, Calif., May 10, 2022 (Terran Orbital PR) – Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP), a global leader in satellite solutions, primarily serving the United States aerospace and defense industry, today announced it has shipped its CAPSTONE satellite to a launch site on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand. CAPSTONE will launch on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket using a Lunar Photon satellite upper stage to send the spacecraft on its planned lunar transfer trajectory. This historic pathfinding mission supports NASA’s Artemis program which includes landing the first woman and first person of color on the Moon.

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CAPSTONE Charts a New Path for NASA’s Moon-Orbiting Space Station

NASA Mission Update

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — It will have equilibrium. Poise. Balance. This pathfinding CubeSat will practically be able to kick back and rest in 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 it in orbit around the Moon.

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NASA to Participate in Space Symposium, Broadcast Select Panels

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy visited the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans on Dec. 8, 2021 for tours and briefings on Michoud’s role in the Artemis program and other capabilities that enrich many facets of the nation’s space exploration endeavors. (Credits: NASA/Michael DeMocker)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy and Associate Administrator Bob Cabana are among the agency’s speakers at the Space Foundation’s 37th Space Symposium from Wednesday, April 5 to Thursday, April 7 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Topics highlighted by NASA participants throughout the event include the agency’s Moon to Mars exploration approach including Artemis, technology, science, commercial partnerships, and more. A full agenda for the symposium is available online.

The agency will stream the following panels on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website:

Tuesday, April 5

  • 12:25 p.m. EDT – Plenary session remarks from Melroy about NASA’s Moon to Mars strategy and updated current milestones
  • 1:15 p.m.: Artemis and Industry: Building the Space Economy. Panelists include:
    • Kenneth Bowersox, deputy associate administrator for Space Operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington
    • Jim Free, associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development at NASA Headquarters
    • James Reuter, associate administrator for Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters
    • Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters

Wednesday, April 6

Members of the media registered for the symposium can attend “Small Satellites, Big Missions: Pathfinding CubeSats Exploring the Moon and Beyond,” a news conference featuring NASA leaders, at 6 p.m. EDT. The conference will take place in Media Room A of the event’s media center. To register for the symposium, media must email the Space Foundation at [email protected].

Participants in the news conference include:

  • NASA Associate Administrator Cabana
  • Elwood Agasid, deputy program manager for Small Spacecraft Technology at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, and Space Technology Hall of Fame inductee
  • Andres Martinez, program executive for small spacecraft in NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters
  • Bradley Cheetham, CEO, Advanced Space in Westminster, Colorado
  • Joe Shoer, engineer, Lockheed Martin, Denver

For more information about NASA, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/

Advanced Space Elevates Presence in D.C. with Experienced Space Policy Advisor, Mike Beavin

Mike Beavin (Credit: Advanced Space)

WESTMINSTER, Colo., February 14, 2022 (Advanced Space PR) — Advanced Space LLC., a leading space tech company, is pleased to announce a partnership with Mike Beavin, an accomplished executive in government relations in the aerospace industry. Crafting communications on “the Hill” and within the Administration takes particular expertise. With over twenty years of experience in space policy and advocating for the space industry in Washington, D.C., Mr. Beavin will apply his expertise to elevate the space exploration, technology development, and vast array of work of the Advanced Space team.

Mike Beavin serves as  the Principal of IKYR, LLC. He will be based in D.C. to manage Advanced Space legislative affairs and government relations. . His background with legislative and key policymakers  includes Congress, the White House, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Commerce, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the Federal Communications Commission.

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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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Advanced Space, U.S. Air Force Sign Cooperative Agreement to Collaborate on Cislunar Activities

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

WESTMINSTER, Colo., Feb. 11, 2022 (Advanced Space PR) — Advanced Space LLC., a leading space solutions company, has entered into a Cooperative Research And Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Space Vehicles Directorate, and the Spacecraft Technology Division to share data collected from cislunar space through the CAPSTONE mission.

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Rocket Lab to Launch NASA Funded Commercial Moon Mission from New Zealand

Photon CAPSTONE spacecraft (Credit: Rocket Lab)

LONG BEACH, Calif., August 6, 2021 (Rocket Lab PR) – Rocket Lab, the leading launch and space systems company, today announced it will launch the CAPSTONE mission to the Moon from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand from Q4 2021. It will be Rocket Lab’s first launch to the Moon. CAPSTONE (the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment) aids NASA’s Artemis program, which includes landing the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon and establishing a long-term presence there.

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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 Readies Photon Spacecraft for NASA Moon Mission

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

The CAPSTONE mission will see Rocket Lab extend its reach far beyond Earth orbit for the first time to deploy an in-house designed and built Photon spacecraft to the Moon.

Long Beach, Calif. (Rocket Lab PR) – Rocket Lab has reached a key milestone ahead of the company’s first launch to the Moon, with spacecraft qualification underway for the Photon spacecraft that will transport a NASA satellite into a unique lunar orbit that no other spacecraft has explored before.

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NASA Funds CubeSat Pathfinder Mission to Unique Lunar Orbit

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

WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded a $13.7 million contract to Advanced Space of Boulder, Colorado, to develop and operate a CubeSat mission to the same lunar orbit targeted for Gateway – an orbiting outpost astronauts will visit before descending to the surface of the Moon in a landing system as part of NASA’s Artemis program.

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