CAPSTONE flies toward cislunar space – the orbital space near and around the Moon (Credit: Terran Orbital Corporation)
The NASA Artemis program satellite is charting a new path to the Moon
BOCA RATON, Fla., July 8, 2022 – Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP), a global leader in satellite solutions, primarily serving the United States and Allied aerospace and defense industries, today announced the successful completion of CAPSTONE’s first TCM burn (TCM-1). As the first statistical maneuver of the mission, TCM-1 is designed to clean up expected dispersions from the launch vehicle injection – enabling CAPSTONE to continue its pathfinding lunar journey in support of NASA’s Artemis program.
Terran Orbital Guidance Navigation and Control systems perfectly performed the maneuver as designed by Advanced Space. The maneuver was designed based on navigation information collected by the Deep Space Network and processed by the Advanced Space flight dynamics team. Terran Orbital’s Mission Operations Center commanded the burn and processed the post-burn telemetry. Optimized for precise maneuvers, TCM-1 is the first maneuver executed by the CAPSTONE spacecraft using its onboard propulsion system. The maneuver was designed to be approximately 20 m/s. Initial radiometric-based reconstruction suggests TCM-1 achieved approximately 19.85 m/s which represents a deviation of approximately 0.75 % — well within expectations and predictions. At the time of maneuver execution, the spacecraft was approximately 465,000 km from the Earth. Prior to the maneuver, the spacecraft was on a trajectory that would take it approximately 1.2 million km from the Earth. With the completion of TCM-1 the spacecraft is now targeting a trajectory that will take it approximately 1.4 million km from Earth.
“Terran Orbital is thrilled to have successfully completed CAPSTONE’s first TCM burn,” said Terran Orbital Co-Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer Marc Bell. “Our mission operations team is composed of relentless innovators who will ensure CAPSTONE’s continued health and success in charting a new path to the Moon. Terran Orbital looks forward to completing the spacecraft’s second maneuver as we continue to work alongside Advanced Space in making this historic NASA lunar mission a reality.”
CAPSTONE harnesses the gravity of the Sun to transfer to the Moon instead of fuel. This process is known as a highly efficient ballistic lunar transfer (BLT). The operations of the spacecraft are led by the Terran Orbital and Advanced Space mission operations teams in conjunction with NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN). CAPSTONE is on track to reach its Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO) around the Moon on November 13.
About Terran Orbital
Terran Orbital is a leading manufacturer of small satellites primarily serving the United States and Allied aerospace and defense industries. Terran Orbital provides end-to-end satellite solutions by combining satellite design, production, launch planning, mission operations, and in-orbit support to meet the needs of the most demanding military, civil, and commercial customers. Learn more at www.terranorbital.com.