CAPSTONE Spacecraft Ships to Launch Site

The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE, spacecraft which will chart a new path for NASA’s Moon-orbiting space station Gateway, just started its journey. On May 9, it shipped from Terran Orbital Corporation in Irvine, California, to its launch site at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 (LC-1) on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand.

CAPSTONE is expected to arrive at the Mahia Launch Complex in the next few days in preparation for a launch no earlier than May 2022. It will launch on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket using a Lunar Photon satellite upper stage to send the spacecraft into a never-been-tested near rectilinear halo orbit around the Moon.