Posted: Sat, Nov 19, 2022, 10:17 AM ET (1517 GMT)
A NASA-funded cubesat entered orbit around the moon Sunday night. The CAPSTONE cubesat, operated by Advanced Space, completed a 16-minute maneuver that placed it into a near-rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO) around the moon, the same orbit that will be used by NASA's lunar Gateway. CAPSTONE will perform two small "clean up" maneuvers this week to refine the orbit. CAPSTONE will test the stability of that orbit while also demonstrating autonomous positioning technologies. CAPSTONE is the first spacecraft to operate in NRHO and the first cubesat to orbit the moon.