As with today's Rocket Lab payload deployment, our CAPSTONE cube will receive an acceleration from"Photona". CAPSTONE will then use its own propulsion system to reach and test a never-before-used lunar orbit.
The company says that the universalsatellite platform "Photon" was created on the basis of the upper stage of the light rocket "Electron". It has its own Curie engine, orientation and communication systems, and solar panels to generate power.
NASA will be the first client for this system with its CAPSTONE apparatus of the CubeSat 12U format.
Much like today's @RocketLab payload deployment, our CAPSTONE CubeSat will get a boost from Photon. Then, CAPSTONE will use its own propulsion system to reach and test a never-before-used lunar orbit.
More about the mission launching later this year: https://t.co/5XmLWVEHGO pic.twitter.com/w6Guqx0Yys
- NASA Technology (@NASA_Technology) March 23, 2021
NASA notes that the CAPSTONE installation is now undergoing external tests to ensure that the spacecraft systems are operational.
The system has an area of approximately 8 squareinches at 4 inches deep. The eight thrusters in this system use hydrazine fuel to provide jet acceleration. Ultra-small, high-performance CAPSTONE engines combine proven NASA technology with state-of-the-art industrial manufacturing techniques.
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