Rocket Lab has been selected by NASA to give launch services for the… get this, long name… Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment or CAPSTONE Cubesat.
Slated for early 2021, this will be the second lunar mission from Virginia. As a commercial launch provider, Rocket Lab will lift off the 55lbs. Cubesat on an Electron rocket. Their Photon platform will then deliver CAPSTONE to a trans-lunar injection. Then, the Cubesat will use it’s own propulsion system to enter a cislunar orbit.
Three Months later, and much acquired data of the Moon and to conduct a navigation demonstration with NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. CAPSTONE will serve as a pathfinder for the lunar spaceship Gateway which is a key component for NASA’s Artemis program.
Congratulations Rocket Lab in your roll to be a part of something much bigger than all of us.