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NASA will launch the Capstone mission on Monday 27 June

NASA will launch the Capstone mission on Monday 27 June
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The rocket lab’s electrons sit on top of the launch pad at New Zealand’s Launch Complex 1 for a wet dress rehearsal before the rocket capstone launch.

A tiny satellite is ready to set the stage for something much bigger: a full-fledged lunar space station. NASA will launch the Capstone satellite on Monday and then travel in a unique lunar orbit on a Pathfinder mission. Artemis programWhich seeks to bring people back to the moon after this decade.

Capstone The electrons from the rocket lab are hitting the rocket, which will depart from the private company’s launch complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand. Rocket Lab made headlines in May by capturing a booster rocket that fell using a helicopter. The CAPSTONE launch is scheduled for June 27 at 6 a.m. ET and live coverage will begin one hour earlier. You can catch the action at the agency Website Or AppsOr you can watch it in the live feed below.

NASA Live: The official stream of NASA TV

About a week after the Capstone mission, the search voyage will be made available through NASA Eyes on the solar system Interactive real-time 3D data visualization.

The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (Capstone) mission will send a microwave-sized satellite around the moon to a nearby rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO). The satellite will be the first to travel around this unique lunar orbit, testing it systematically. Lunar GatewayA small space station to allow sustainable human presence on the moon.

The NRHO is special in that it is where the gravitational pull of the moon and the earth interact; This orbit would theoretically place the spacecraft in a near-stable orbit around the moon in a “gravitational sweet spot”, Accordingly NASA. The NRHO is therefore ideal in that it will require less fuel than conventional orbits and will allow the proposed lunar space station to maintain a constant line of communication with the Earth. But before NASA builds its gateway to this highly elliptical orbit, the space agency will use it to test orbital models of CAPSTONE-owned and operated by Colorado-based Advanced Space.

The concept of the Capstone artist.
gif: NASA / Daniel Rutter

Six days after the launch from Earth, the upper layer of the electron rocket will launch the Capstone satellite to the moon. The 55-pound (25-kilogram) Cubsat will then perform its remaining four months of travel alone. Once on the moon, Capstone will test the orbital dynamics of its orbit for about six months. The satellite will also be used to test technology and one-way limited capabilities on spacecraft-to-spacecraft that could ultimately reduce the need for future spacecraft to communicate with mission controllers on Earth and wait for relays of signals from other spacecraft.

NASA is systematically assembling the pieces for the agency’s planned return to the moon. The The fourth and most recent wet dress rehearsal of the Space Agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) went well.7, paving the way for a possible launch in late August

More: This tiny moon-bound satellite could pave the way for a lunar space station

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