NASA launches CAPSTONE, microwave sized satellite, to the Moon
New Delhi : NASA has launched CAPSTONE, a microwave sized satellite, to the Moon that will enable the space agency to learn about hurdles and requirements for setting up a small space station which will be utilized by astronauts to halt before they land on the Moon's surface.
A rocket carrying microwave size satellite was launched at 9:55 pm local time (5:55 a.m. Eastern time) from a launchpad along the eastern coast of New Zealand. The mission is purely aimed at gathering information for the space agency NASA, but it has been owned and operated by a private company Advanced Space.
According to a report, the project comes with a total estimated cost of USD 30 million, including the cost of launch from New Zealand.
The first two stages of the Electron rocket placed CAPSTONE into an elliptical orbit around Earth. For this mission, Rocket Lab essentially added a third stage that will methodically raise the altitude of the spacecraft over the next six days. At that point, CAPSTONE will head on its way to the moon, taking a slow but efficient path, arriving Nov. 13.
NASA has future plans to send astronauts to the Moon and explore the possibility of life on it.