The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) says it plans to send the Capstone satellite to the Moon to test computational modeling of the stability of the orbit for the future Lunar Getaway space station.
The launch of the aforesaid satellite by the American company Advanced Space is scheduled to start at 6am Eastern time from the launch site of Rocket Lab LC-1 on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. The mission of the satellite is to test the almost straight halo orbit (NRHO) around the Moon, as it plans to launch the Lunar Gateway space station in the future.
The peculiarity of NRHO is that the gravitational forces of the Moon and the Earth interact on it, which will enable the station to keep the station in a stable orbit, save fuel, and keep in constant contact with the Earth.
The satellite should be in lunar orbit six days after launch. It will then be used within six months to test the NRHO and validate navigation technology between spacecrafts.
The launch will take place within the framework of the Artemis international program, which is designed to send people to the Moon. It is assumed that the program will enable the creation of permanent habitats on the Moon in the future, as well as to lay the foundation for the study of Mars.