NASA’s tiny CAPSTONE probe arrives at the moon


“A tiny NASA spacecraft’s historic trek to the moon is over. The 55-pound (25 kilograms) CAPSTONE probe slipped into orbit around the moon on Sunday evening (Nov. 13), becoming the first cubesat ever to visit Earth’s nearest neighbor. The milestone came after a successful engine burn that ended at 7:39 p.m. EST (0039 GMT on Nov. 14), NASA officials said in a brief update(opens in new tab). … NASA plans to launch the first pieces of Gateway, a crucial part of its Artemis program of moon exploration, in 2024. But the agency wants to learn more about lunar NRHOs first, and that’s where CAPSTONE comes in: The microwave-oven-sized spacecraft will verify the suspected stability of this orbit, which a spacecraft has never flown in before, during a mission designed to last at least six months.” (11/14/22)