CAPSTONE, a new spacecraft that will explore a unique orbit around the moon, launched on Tuesday, June 28, from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand.
NASA said the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE, will be the first spacecraft to fly a near rectilinear halo orbit around the moon.
“CAPSTONE’s test of this orbit will lead the way for our future Artemis lunar outpost called Gateway,” NASA said. After a four-month journey to the moon, NASA said, CAPSTONE will test the dynamics of the near rectilinear halo orbit for at least six months,
The space agency livestreamed footage of the launch. Credit: NASA via Storyful