The CAPSTONE satellite, designed and built by Terran Orbital, is successfully deployed from Rocket Lab Lunar Photon to the lunar transfer orbit

The satellite is charting a new path to the moon as part of NASA’s innovative Artemis & CloseCurlyQuote program.

Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP), a world leader in satellite solutions, serving primarily the United States and the Allied aerospace and defense industries, today announced the successful deployment of the CAPSTONE spacecraft from a Rocket Lab. Lunar Photon in a lunar transfer orbit. The Terran Orbital designed, built and integrated Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, also known as CAPSTONE, is flying a research mission to the Moon in support of NASA’s historic Artemis program and CloseCurlyQuote. Once the deployment is complete, Terran Orbital will now begin operations on the Satellite & CloseCurlyQuote mission. CAPSTONE is owned and operated by Advanced Space on behalf of NASA.

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CAPSTONE approaches near-rectilinear halo orbit (Credit: Terran Orbital Corporation)

As a search engine for an advanced lunar orbit gateway site built by NASA’s commercial and international partners and CloseCurlyQuote, CAPSTONE will help reduce the risk to future spacecraft by verifying the dynamics of a single lunar orbit and validating technologies. innovative navigation. CAPSTONE is the first satellite to demonstrate the operations of a near-rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO) around the Moon. This demonstration would normally be impossible for a 12U shape factor such as CAPSTONE, about the size of a microwave, but a radio tower antenna combined with a low-energy “ballistic lunar transfer” would expand the capacity and satellite range & CloseCurlyQuote.

The deployment of CAPSTONE & CloseCurlyQuote comes after six days of burns orbiting the Earth aboard the Rocket Lab & CloseCurlyQuote Lunar Photon spacecraft bus, since it was launched in a launch vehicle. Electrons from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand. The CAPSTONE spacecraft deployed from a 12U Terran Orbital spacecraft deployer. Post-deployment activities of CAPSTONE include switching on the spacecraft, obtaining stand-alone attitude control, and preparing for first contact with an Earth-based communication station. In the coming days, the Terran Orbital Mission Operations Team, which operates from its mission operations center in Irvine, CA, will communicate and conduct the launch of the CAPSTONE spacecraft. in close collaboration with advanced space navigation equipment and payload operation, as well as NASA and CloseCurlyQuote. Deep space network;

CAPSTONE will continue a ballistic lunar transfer to save fuel, traveling up to 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, before returning closer to Earth and the Moon for the NRHO propulsion maneuver of the spacecraft & CloseCurlyQuote. The insertion of NRHO and all other propulsive maneuvers of the CAPSTONE & CloseCurlyQuote lunar transfer trip, executed by the Terran Orbital & CloseCurlyQuote mission operations team, are possible thanks to a Stellar Exploration hydrazine propulsion system, with a design of maneuvers for Advanced Space. This trip will last approximately four months with the arrival of NRHO currently scheduled for November 13th.

“Terran Orbital is developing satellites that simultaneously solve today’s problems, while creating solutions for tomorrow,” said Marc Bell, co-founder, president and CEO of Terran Orbital. “CAPSTONE is a true research mission that will illuminate and refine crucial technologies as we enter this generation of the New Space. Terran Orbital is proud to have made CAPSTONE a reality alongside NASA, Rocket Lab and Advanced Space, and we look forward to continuing to work with our aerospace and defense industry partners as Terran Orbital designs, builds, integrates and operates for life.

“With the capabilities that are being demonstrated by all of our industry partners, this mission is a‘ capstone ’achievement for small and small spacecraft launches,” said Justin Treptow, deputy program executive for the program. NASA’s small spacecraft technology at NASA’s Washington headquarters. of the industry. ”

“Separating the CAPSTONE & CloseCurlyQuote spacecraft with a CubeSat on its way to the Moon is an amazing event that shapes the industry in space exploration,” said Bradley Cheetham, CEO of Advanced Space and principal investigator at CAPSTONE . “It’s appropriate to be Independence Day. Congratulations to all our partners and people behind CAPSTONE. Advanced Space has the honor of leading this historic NASA mission. We are just beginning, in exploration, development and settlement. sustainable development of space. ”

“Going to the Moon is a team effort and we couldn’t have asked for better mission partners for CAPSTONE,” said Peter Beck, founder and CEO of Rocket Lab. we hope that Advanced Space, Terran Orbital and NASA have a lot of success with the rest of this innovative mission. ”

Visit and for complete mission information.

For real-time updates on the CAPSTONE mission, follow Terran Orbital, NASA, Rocket Lab, and Advanced Space on Twitter.

@TerranOrbital @NASA @NASAAmes @AdvancedSpace @RocketLab

About Orbital Terran

Terran Orbital is a leading manufacturer of small satellites serving primarily the United States and the Allied aerospace and defense industries. Terran Orbital offers end-to-end satellite solutions combining satellite design, production, launch planning, mission operations and in-orbit support to meet the needs of the most demanding military, civilian and commercial customers. More information at

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