CAPSTONE will be the first CubeSat to fly in cislunar space, settling into a near rectilinear halo orbit.
Credit: NASA/Rocket Lab/Advanced Space

A high-tech pioneer for NASA’s Gateway — the deep space outpost that’s part of the Artemis return-to-the-moon agenda — is being readied for departure early next year.

NASA’s Gateway…to the Moon and Mars.
Credit: NASA

NASA’s Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment – mercifully called CAPSTONE in space agency shorthand — is destined to be the first spacecraft to function in a near rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO)  around the moon.

NRHO is the special orbit in which the Gateway mini-space station is to be assembled and operated.

CAPSTONE is a microwave-oven sized CubeSat weighing just 55-pounds. But it comes factory-equipped to execute key tasks.

For more information on this trailblazing techno-sat, go to my new story:

Tiny cubesat launching next year to blaze trail for NASA moon-orbiting space station

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