On the morning of June 28, NASA launched a CubeSat spacecraft the size of a microwave to the Moon. After a four-month journey, it must enter a unique elongated orbit, which has not yet been one of the agency’s spacecraft.
The task of the device will be to test the orbit, which in the next decade will be able to use astronauts to study the satellite. The full rotation around the Moon in this orbit lasts seven days. In one day the spacecraft approaches the surface of the satellite and can deliver the necessary equipment to it, and then move away for six days.
NASA is considering this orbit for the Artemis program. The agency’s attempts to bring people back to the Moon. Among the astronauts who will fly to the satellite, for the first time in history, there should be a woman and a man of color. Because the orbit has not been used before and NASA has no experience with it, the CAPSTONE mission, which includes CubeSat, will pave the way for further launches of Artemis.
CAPSTONE can also be considered the first mission of the Artemis project. It begins a complex chain of events that should eventually return a person to the Moon.