NASA announced what the CAPSTONE project is. This one is part of the Artemis program and is intended to help reduce the risk of missions by verifying new technologies and studying the dynamics of the orbit in which he will be working.
NASA starts the CAPSTONE project
CubeSat is a microwave-sized satellite! The device weighs just 24 kilograms and is to be used as the first spacecraft to test the CAPSTONE elliptical lunar orbit. The project is to be a gateway to the development of the Artemis program.
The orbit, formally known as an almost rectilinear halo orbit, is significantly elongated. Its location is at a precise point of equilibrium in the gravity of the Earth and the Moon. The orbit is designed to provide stability on long-term missions like Gateway and requires minimal energy to be sustained.
With this orbit, NASA can determine the ideal location for the Artemis project. With its use, astronauts will be able to more easily reach the moon and further! By using this orbit, NASA will be able to plan fuel consumption even better, because the gravity in this place is so strong that consumption can be significantly minimized.
Long journey, but necessary
After a four-month trip to the CAPSTONE destination. The satellite will orbit this area around the moon for at least six months to understand the orbit characteristics. In particular, it will verify power and propulsion requirements to maintain the orbit as predicted by NASA models, reducing logistical uncertainty. The project is to demonstrate innovative solutions related to the navigation between spacecraft and the communication possibilities with the Earth.
NASA looks to the future
To test these new navigation capabilities, the satellite has a second dedicated on-board computer and radio that will perform calculations to determine where the CubeSat is on its orbital path. CubeSat is expected to launch later this month, but time is short.
What are the goals of the mission? – CAPSTONE
- Verification of the characteristics of the moon near the halo orbit
- Entry and stay in orbit
- Demonstration of new navigation services
- Opening of “Gates” for the Artemis project