Update – NASA’s CAPSTONE spacecraft is on its way to the moon

As part of its Artemis programme to return humans to the moon, NASA’s CAPSTONE spacecraft to map the orbit of the planned Lunar Gateway space station has taken off from New Zealand

Space 28 June 2022 , updated 28 June 2022

CAPSTONE

An artist’s impression of the CAPSTONE spacecraft in orbit around the moon

Illustration by NASA/Daniel Rutter

NASA’s return to the moon has begun with the launch of its CAPSTONE spacecraft, which will test the orbit of a future lunar space station. It is the first step in the Artemis programme, which aims to put a man and the first woman on the moon by 2025.

The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) blasted off at 10.55 BST on 22 June from the Māhia peninsula in New Zealand. It took …

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