back to article Rocket Lab is taking NASA's CAPSTONE to the Moon

Rocket Lab has taken delivery of NASA's CAPSTONE spacecraft at its New Zealand launch pad ahead of a mission to the Moon. It's been quite a journey for CAPSTONE [Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment], which was originally supposed to launch from Rocket Lab's US launchpad at …

  1. Tom Chiverton 1 Silver badge

    "verify simulations that the interaction gravity of the Earth and Moon will make for a stable orbit"

    Their not *sure* already ? Their whole SLS stack and habitat, lander concept etc is all based on an *assumption* they are only checking out just a few months (allegedly) before launch ?!?

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Lunar gravity is a bit wobbly...

      The NRHO is a good orbit, and should avoid most of the pitfalls of that rather lumpy gravity well...

      This is more confirming how much station keeping fuel they will need, rather than confirming that it's stable.

      Wikipedia says it better: "verify the calculated orbital stability"

      NASA said: "Verification of near rectilinear halo orbit characteristics for future spacecraft"

      In amongst the list of half a dozen mission objectives.

    2. iron Silver badge

      You are mistaking SLS for a rocket. SLS is a jobs and pork programme and will never launch anything anywhere because that would negate the point.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Cost plus

        More to the point it's a cost plus contract and increasing profits require increasing costs.

  2. yogidude

    Is more negative up or down?

    "Overall, the company made a net loss of $26.7 million, down from the $15.9 million loss of the same period last year"

    If the loss this year is greater, or bigger, or larger than the loss of the previous year, doesn't that mean the change in the loss is the opposite of down?

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Re: Is more negative up or down?

      Or a copy/paste typo.

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Is more negative up or down?

      The loss is a movement "down" in terms of financial reporting.

  3. Grey_Kiwi

    "The pad, Launch Complex 2, has been completed for a while now. However, delays in certifying Rocket Lab's Autonomous Flight Termination System (AFTS) pushed the move to Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand."

    I think it's NASA's AFTS, not RocketLab's.

    RL are quite happy with their AFTS and use it all the time at Mahia, but AIUI there's a problem getting NASA to complete and certify their part of the system for use at Wallops Island.

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